Health Care

Find Lasting Relief With Aquablation Therapy

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If you’re experiencing the signs of an enlarged prostate, it helps to know what you’re dealing with so you can take the next step toward lasting relief. Our urology expert, Tony Highshaw, MD, is here to help you understand more about what it means to have an enlarged prostate and walk you through a minimally invasive treatment option called aquablation therapy.

What Is an Enlarged Prostate?

According to Dr. Highshaw, “An enlarged prostate is a common side effect of aging for many men. For some, this change begins around age 40 with about half of the male population experiencing this condition by age 60.”

An enlarged prostate doesn’t usually lead to any significant issues. However, some men may experience sleep disruptions due to frequent nighttime bathroom visits. You may also experience other urinary problems, including the inability to fully empty your bladder.

Removing obstructive tissue via surgery or laser procedures is traditionally the most common form of treatment for persistent moderate to severe situations. Though helpful, the use of heat brings risks, including erectile dysfunction.

Dr. Highshaw explains, “One option to reduce risks is called aquablation therapy, a minimally invasive robotic approach that uses heat-free technology to remove a precise amount of tissue using room temperature water. No physical incision is necessary.”

Are you experiencing discomfort from an enlarged prostate? Dr. Highshaw can perform this minimally invasive procedure.

What Is BPH?

The prostate is a ping-pong ball-sized gland that makes a fluid that forms part of semen. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the bladder.

“The technical term for an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. It’s called ‘benign’ because it’s not cancerous. However, it can cause other problems,” says Dr. Highshaw.

Dr. Highshaw points out some of the complications that can arise from BPH, including:

  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Difficulty urinating and weak stream
  • Dribbling of urine
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area or upper thighs
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Need to urinate many times at night

“These symptoms could also be warning signs of prostate cancer, so getting them checked out is important. Even if cancer is ruled out, you may still want to pursue symptom relief. That’s where aquablation can help,” Dr. Highshaw states.

How Does Aquablation Work?

So, how does aquablation work? Its name provides a clue: It combines “aqua,” or water, with “ablation,” the surgical removal of tissue.

The process starts by mapping out the area needing treatment using detailed images from an ultrasound. Aquablation therapy is the only procedure that gives a surgeon the ability to view the entire prostate during treatment.

Dr. Highshaw elaborates, “It allows the surgeon to map which parts of the prostate to remove and which parts to avoid, reducing risks of irreversible complications like erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction and incontinence.”

Using this personalized map, your surgeon programs a robotic system to guide a waterjet directly to only the intended tissue.

This treatment is tailor-made to fit the exact size of each prostate. The whole procedure takes less than an hour — and its relative lack of side effects have quickly made it an attractive alternative to regular surgery.

The robot is autonomous, meaning once it’s programmed, it acts on its own, allowing for a precise and quick procedure — the treatment itself lasts only about five minutes. The longest part of the procedure involves taking pictures and deciding what to remove.

Every procedure is going to be different based on the size and position of the prostate. Aquablation is an option for most men with enlarged prostates. However, it isn’t recommended for men with prostate cancer or certain other bladder conditions.

Since aquablation treatment is relatively new, it includes a one-night hospital stay for observation.

Helping You Return to Whole Health

Even though having an enlarged prostate isn’t life-threatening, whole-person health is our goal and we take quality-of-life concerns seriously. Aquablation can help you find relief while avoiding the risks of traditional surgery.

Connect with us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Highshaw today. You deserve to feel whole.

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