What’s better? Deciding between the Urolift and iTIND devices
June 22, 2022
Not more than 10 years ago, men suffering with BPH or enlarged prostate would have two main choices: 1) take a pill consistently for the rest of your life (Flomax, Uroxatral, Tamsulosin, Alfuzosin, Proscar, or Finasteride). The pills can have side effects ranging from low blood pressure, fatigue, dizziness, nasal congestion, exacerbation of heart conditions, fluid buildup in the legs, decreased libido, and/or erectile dysfunction. Not to mention the thousands of pills and expenses over the year, possible interactions with other medications, and having to keep up with a daily medication regimen. Or 2), undergoing a TURP, also known as a Transurethral resection of the Prostate. The surgical procedures (using Greenlight laser or other modifications) also have a high incidence of diminished ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation, the possibility of less intense orgasms, and the potential for erectile dysfunction.
The last several years have ushered in novel advances in “middle ground therapies” including the Urolift and iTIND, which allow you to “have your cake and eat it too”. These devices are intended for men who do not wish to take long-term medications and have to deal with their various side effects, or subject themselves to surgery with irreversible changes as discussed above.
My experience is that these procedures work as well or better than medical therapy in terms of urinary symptom relief, but not necessarily as well as the TURP or surgical resection options. Having said that, men with mild to moderate urinary symptoms tend to fair exceptionally well with the minimally invasive Urolift and iTIND procedures.Urolift is a procedure typically done in the office under local anesthetic, taking typically under 10 minutes for the procedure itself. With a camera, a small suture and clip are strategically placed in the prostate to ‘pinch’ the prostate channel open, thereby increasing urinary flow. Urinary symptoms typically improve by 50-60% in patients over a 6-8 week period, with most patients getting off medications by that time.
A newer option is the iTIND device, a competitor to Urolift. This device has had great success in Europe, and has received FDA approval in the US. Somewhat like a cardiac artery stent that props open, the iTIND device is placed under anesthetic into the prostate, where it opens up, and re-shapes the prostate in a way that opens up the urinary channel. The device is removed in the office 3-5 days later via a string, with no implant left remaining in the prostate. Sexual and other side effects are negligible with the iTIND.
In summary, both devices have revolutionized the treatment of BPH. Personally, I have reduced the number of TURP or surgical patients by nearly 75%, and medical management of patients by 90%. I tell my own patients that if I were to have enlarged prostate symptoms, I wouldn’t hesitate to have either procedure over medical or surgical TURP myself
To see if minimally invasive treatments for BPH and enlarged prostate are right for you, contact us today to set up an appointment!