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Lifestyle & Leisure

Revolutionary treatment for prostate problem

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 4:31pm

“After suffering with an enlarged prostate which caused me worry and stress, I had a new day case procedure to fix the problem and within a short space of time, I was back to normal.”

Pat Griffin, 63, from Cork, is semi-retired from a 40 year career as an office manager. He is married and has two children aged 20 and 18. Thanks to his “brilliant” GP and a progressive surgeon on Leeside, Pat has become one of the first men in Ireland to receive a new, minimally invasive treatment for one of the most common conditions in older males.

A few years ago, he started to notice worrying changes in his urinary habits. “I had a strong urge to go to the loo,” said Pat, “I also needed to go a lot more often than I used to – I’d say around twice as often as before.”

Pat likes to stay active and does a lot of walking and cycling, hobbies which became quite difficult he added: “I was always conscious of the problem, wherever I was and whatever I was doing. It’s a worry that never leaves you. It became really inconvenient. I was waking up twice at night to go to the toilet as well, so I was more tired than usual.

“I think when you hit 60, you start becoming much more aware of needing to take care of yourself; trying to improve your health and wellbeing etc; and I knew I needed to get this checked out as it wasn’t normal. My wife also gently reminded me to go to the GP!

“I went to my own doctor who I can’t praise highly enough, Dr Lorraine Dennis, who practises in Bishopstown. Dr Dennis referred me to have some tests with Dermot Lanigan, a consultant urologist at Bon Secours Hospital and I was diagnosed at the hospital with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – a non-cancerous, age related enlargement of the prostate.

BPH can cause symptoms such as a strong and sudden urge to go the toilet, a feeling of pressure or discomfort in the bladder area and a reduced flow because the enlarged prostate tissue presses on, and constricts, the tube which carries urine out of the body. It is a very common condition in men aged over 50; it is ten times more prevalent than prostate cancer although initial symptoms of both conditions can be similar.

Pat says: “Mr Lanigan is one of the first surgeons in Ireland to adopt a new permanent treatment for BPH so that was why Dr Dennis referred me to see him straight away, without putting me on medication first.”

The UroLift System treatment uses implants to hold back the enlarged tissue, rather like curtain tie backs, instead of cutting it away. It is the only permanent treatment for BPH which involves no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue. It can be performed as a day case in just a few hours. Men are usually discharged without a catheter.

This contrasts with traditional surgery for BPH which requires a two-three night stay in hospital and a long recovery period.

Pat says he’s now forgotten he ever had a problem. “I can go hours without having to go to the loo, I am a real tea drinker as well, and it doesn’t bother me. I feel better in myself, I feel really well as I am sleeping better without usually needing to get up in the night. I’m a happy man.”

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