Home » Men's Health » Men are encouraged to seek advice over urinary problems
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Mr Neil Barber

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

While prostate cancer is a major concern among men as they get older, difficulties experienced in passing urine are often more likely to be associated with an enlarged prostate, often referred to as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).1


A leading urologist and a patient recommend men to seek medical advice at the first sign of urinary difficulties. Both surgeon Neil Barber and patient Norman Linter stress the importance of early intervention to help lead to better clinical outcomes and lower urinary tract symptoms.

Mr Barber, who is Clinical Lead for Urology at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey, says men should speak to their GP if they have urinary symptoms. “The most common cause of urinary symptoms in men over the age of 50 is an enlarged prostate” he adds.

Similar symptoms

BPH and prostate cancer can both make the prostate gland, which sits below the bladder, increase in size and usually produce similar symptoms. However, BPH, which can affect half of men in their 50s, – is benign.2

Symptoms of BPH can include an urgent need to urinate or an increase frequency to urinate many times during both the day and night, trouble starting to urinate, weak or dribbling urine stream; and a feeling the bladder is never fully empty.3,4

As the prostate grows because of BPH, it constricts the urethra and this pressure prevents urine from flowing properly, causing bothersome urinary symptoms.5

“Historically men have put up with it, despite the impact on quality of life,” explains Mr Barber. “But we are in an era now where there are multiple treatment options for BPH to improve those symptoms and quality of life.”

The UroLift System may help bridge the gap between medication and standard surgery.

Less-invasive approach

Depending on the stage of the condition such as prostate size and severity of symptoms, treatment can range from medication to invasive surgery.

There is a proven minimally invasive procedure, which utilises permanent implants to lift and retract the obstructing prostate tissue, thus increase the opening of the urethra without cutting. Available on the NHS, the UroLift System does not require heating, cutting, removal, or destruction of prostate tissue.7-11 It is performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic as a day-case.12

Mr Barber, who has treated over 600 patients with this procedure, says: “The UroLift System may help bridge the gap between medication and standard surgery such as TURP, which may have more significant side effects. It can lead to rapid symptom relief while preserving sexual function.*13

“It is a straightforward procedure; there is typically no long stay in hospital required, and it has a risk profile better than reported for TURP. After the procedure, patients are commonly back to normal activity within days.”7,12

Seeking advice and support **

Retired engineer Norman Linter, 73, from Surrey, had problems with passing urine and after being diagnosed with BPH was offered the UroLift System treatment.

He went into hospital at 8.30am, had the procedure at 9.30am on a Friday morning and was back home by 4pm. “There was some discomfort on Saturday, but on Sunday morning I played golf and have had symptom improvement ever since,” he says.

“I did not need a catheter, my sexual function was not impacted and even my discomfort from the procedure lasted only 24 hours or so.”

“My advice to men who have problems with urination is to speak to their GP. If there is anything wrong, even for a short period of time, seek advice. My enlarged prostate was causing me problems. People should ask their consultant for more information.”

The UroLift System is Indicated for the treatment of symptoms of an enlarged prostate up to 100cc in men 50 years or older. As with any medical procedure, individual results may vary. Most common side effects are temporary and include pain or burning with urination, blood in the urine, pelvic pain, urgent need to urinate and/or the inability to control the urge.7 Rare side effects, including bleeding and infection, may lead to a serious outcome and may require intervention. Speak with your doctor to determine if you may be a candidate.

This article is sponsored by the manufacturer of the UroLift System.
* No instances of new, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction in the LIFT pivotal study
** Individual results may vary


[1] Prostate cancer UK: https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information
[2] Berry, J Urol 1984
[3] Rosenberg, Int J Clin Pract 2007
[4] Vuichoud, Can J Urol 2015
[5] AUA BPH Guidelines 2020
[6] Tubaro, Drugs Aging 2003

[7] Roehrborn, J Urol 2013;
[8] Mirakhur, Can Assoc Rad J 2017
[9] McVary, J Urol 20156
[10] Gilling, Can J Urol 2020
[11] Kadner, World J Urol 2020
[12] Shore, Can J Urol 2014
[13] Roehrborn, Can J Urol 2017

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