Background and aims: Prostatic urethral lift (Urolift™) is a minimally invasive technique to treat male lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTSs) due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The aim of the present study was to assess safety and medium- to long-term outcomes in the relief of urinary symptoms.
Methods: We included 35 men, affected by severe symptomatic BPH evaluated by International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), with normal erectile function (EF) and ejaculatory function (EjF) evaluated by the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIEF-5) and Male Sexual Health Questionnaire for Ejaculatory Dysfunction (MSHQ-EjD-SF). Exclusion criteria were prostate larger than 70 cm3, bladder neck sclerosis, concomitant third prostatic lobe, and/or other cervical urethral obstruction or cancer. All patients, preoperatively, performed uroflowmetry (UFM) with peak flow (Q-max) and post void residual volume (PVR), digital rectal exam, transrectal prostate ultrasound to measure prostate volume, PSA, and cystoscopy. Follow-up was scheduled at 1-3-6 months, then yearly, evaluating UFM, IPSS, IIEF-5, and MSHQ-EjD-SF.
Results: All procedures were performed by a single senior surgeon and follow-up was 33.8 ± 12 months. Preoperative PSA was 0.82 ± 0.4 ng/ml and mean operative time was 19.6 ± 10 min and 3 (2-4) implants per patient were used. Parameters reported at last follow-up schedule were: Q-max increase of 68% (p = 0.001), PVR reduction 68% (p = 0.005), and IPSS reduction 55% (p < 0.0001). EF and EjF were similarly preserved, and no patients presented retrograde ejaculation. A total of 88.6% of patients were satisfied with LUTSs improvement and 100% satisfied with EjF.
Conclusion: Urolift can improve urinary disorders secondary to BPH, preserving EjF and EF. It is a safe and easy method, reproducible, and with low incidence of complications. Careful selection of patients is mandatory. The main reason for dissatisfaction is the higher expectation of better BPH symptoms relief although patients with high bladder neck and/or prostate volume >45 cm3 were aware of the possible failure.