Treating Enlarged Prostate with Innovation: Aquablation Therapy

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Sponsored by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), is the most common urological problem encountered in men – more common even than prostate cancer. With BPH, men experience problems urinating. For example, they may feel like they need to empty their bladders but can’t, have a slow urination stream or have frequent urination. This can lead to bladder, urinary tract and/or kidney problems. Previous treatments would compromise sexual function, but a new therapy called Aquablation® therapy has been made available locally. Together, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Potomac Urology are the first providers in the DMV to offer Aquablation therapy for men suffering from BPH. Recently Medicare approved, the procedure allows for greater availability, offering more options for patients, fewer side effects and a success rate of over 95%.

What is Aquablation Therapy?

Aquablation therapy is used to treat BPH. In the procedure, a robot-controlled waterjet removes the enlarged prostate tissue. The only FDA-cleared minimally invasive treatment for BPH, Aquablation combines real-time, multi-dimensional imaging with surgical robotics and a heat-free waterjet for targeted, precise and safe removal of prostate tissue, with a reduced risk of sexual side effects.

As Dr. John Klein, attending Urologist with Potomac Urology, Urology Section Chief at Alexandria Hospital and the first doctor to perform Aquablation in the mid-Atlantic, explains the urethra passes through the middle of the prostate. As the prostate grows, and as men age, the prostate starts compressing the urethra, which causes urinary symptoms. Aquablation therapy “opens up the prostate by carving out the prostate tissue that’s compressing the urethra. The robot uses a high pressure water jet to carve out the parts of the map that I want to open up. Problem areas can be identified prior to the procedure by using an ultrasound, enabling Aquablation to have fewer side effects.”

“It’s a receptive procedure, which means that we remove part of the prostate that is causing obstruction,” says Dr. Inderjit Singh, Urologist with Potomac Urology in Woodbridge and Alexandria. “The procedure uses very little thermal energy. As a result of that, the effect on erections is almost none, and the effect on ejaculation is very minimal…the technology basically lets you have the best results with minimal side effects.”

New Technology, Stellar Results

Singh has practiced urology for 28 years. Having performed Aquablation on more than 50 patients, he is in the top five in the country with experience in the procedure, impressive considering Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Potomac Urology have performed the third-highest volume of Aquablation in the U.S. since the therapy was commercially launched. Singh is excited about the potential. “This is the first procedure that provides increased safety and increased efficacy, so basically, you get the best of both worlds.” Singh believes Aquablation will take over as the most common procedure for enlarged prostrate.

Klein says in the overwhelming majority of patients, “we’ve seen urinary symptoms relieved.” After the procedure, patients can sleep through night, can hold off urinating, do not have to “keep their eyes peeled for the nearest bathroom” and have more freedom to pursue their social and life interests. Most patients who have had Aquablation can get off medications that treat BPH. Klein says this is a “durable treatment that may last for a decade or more,” one that “avoids sexual side effects that are associated with traditional surgical procedures.”

Most people report “they are ecstatic with the results,” says Singh. “One of my patients actually told me after, ‘Doc, I feel like a sixteen-year-old.’”

With Aquablation, the recovery period is quick. There is typically one night’s stay in the hospital, Singh says. Most people go home the next day without a catheter and can go about their business within one to two weeks.

When to Seek a Urologist

Singh advises patients to keep an eye out for symptoms such as slow urinary stream, urgency, hesitancy, having to get up multiple times at night, feeling like “they have to go all the time.” Patients with symptoms should first contact their Primary Care doctor.

“There’s no way to tell if you need the procedure or if you have a prostate problem if you don’t bring up your symptoms,” Klein says.

To set up an appointment with Drs. Singh or Klein, call Potomac Urology at 703-680-2111. To learn more about the Sentara Urology Center, visit sentara.com/urology today.

 

 

 

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