KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The most common prostate problem for men over age 50 isn’t prostate cancer. It’s having an enlarged prostate which can cause bathroom issues. Medicine often helps the problem, but sometimes that’s not enough.
More than 40 million men have symptoms of an enlarged prostate. One of those men is someone who spent more than four decades of his life in public education. As Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller explains, the former Wilkes-Barre Area School Superintendent is now sharing his story as a way to educate others on a way to handle the problem.
72-year-old Jeff Namey of Dallas was back this week to see Commonwealth Health Urologist Michael Rittenberg, MD. “When you first came in you actually couldn’t urinate at all. You had a catheter in,” said Dr. Rittenberg.
Mr. Namey was suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, which is an enlarged prostate gland. “It felt like when you would go, tremendous pressure. There was tremendous pressure,” which he said hurt.
The prostate which in a young man is the size of a walnut can grow to the size of a lemon in older men. It narrows the natural passageway for urine to exit the body. Mr. Namey said, “In a period of two days, things really began to shut down.”
Because Mr. Namey was on required blood thinners for other health issues, major surgery wasn’t an option to treat his condition. It may have seemed like there wasn’t a solution but there was still one option he hadn’t tried. Dr. Rittenberg said, “With this procedure I felt that I could accomplish a number of things.”
What Dr. Rittenberg did la st month was implant what’s called a UroLift. It relieves the pressure on the urethra which is the body’s waterpipe. No cutting or burning of tissue is necessary. Dr. Rittenberg said, “He’s urinating better now than he has in years on medication. And we were able to do it simply and safely.”
For Mr. Namey, the UroLift procedure solved years of discomfort and frustration when he was out of options. “So, I’m very pleased I went through the procedure.” When asked if he would recommend it for somebody going through it he replied, “Believe me I would.”
Most patients go home the same day their UroLift surgery is performed. Most also experience immediate improvement in passing their urine while their risks of sexual dysfunction are extremely small.