“You look up BPH or enlarged prostate on the web and there is a whole list of symptoms,” says Bob Carr. “I was having all of them. Every single one—weak stream, interrupted stream, urgency to go. I was getting up eight or nine times a night and wasn’t getting any sleep. This went on for years. I was exhausted and my quality of life wasn’t very high. I finally had to do something.”
Carr’s primary care physician referred him to Trey Moore, M.D., at Urology Partners of North Texas. “That’s probably the best thing that’s happened to me in a long, long time,” he adds. “The quality of his staff and the empathy they have for patients stands out. Dr. Moore takes time to talk with you, explain things, answer questions. He’s just a generally nice individual in addition to being a very qualified physician.”
An Unexpected Diagnosis
While Carr did indeed have all the symptoms of a severe case of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), Dr. Moore determined that he needed to do a thorough evaluation.
“Urination issues can be exhausting and take a huge toll on a man’s quality of life, but along with BPH we have to consider other potential causes—including bladder and prostate cancer,” Dr. Moore explains.
In Carr’s case, prostate cancer was the culprit.
“I had a biopsy in late June. At that time, we thought it might be Stage 2 and set a surgery date to take my prostate out,” Carr remembers. “I thought, we’re going to get this out and things are going to be great. But then they sent me for a bone and CT scan. When the results came back, they had to tell me it was Stage 4 cancer and had metastasized to the bone. Removing my prostate was out of the question at that point. To do so would be like closing the barn door after the cows are gone.”
Not Giving Up
With Carr starting chemotherapy and radiation, Dr. Moore worked with him to alleviate the BPH-like symptoms that were robbing him of precious sleep and making him miserable. “Dr. Moore and I tried all kinds of medications. Some helped a little, but all the symptoms were still there, so he suggested some other options. One of them was the UroLift,” Carr explains.
“I thought the UroLift would be an excellent option for Mr. Carr because it is an office-based procedure that is quick and typically does not require that men go home with a catheter,” says Dr. Moore. “It’s also an excellent choice because it can be performed during or after prostate cancer treatments without interfering with those therapies.”
Performed in the doctor’s office, the minimally invasive UroLift uses a small, implantable device made up of very small hypoallergenic capsules that are placed in the prostate with permanent sutures. The capsules are used in pairs to hold enlarged prostate tissue away from the urethra (the small tube that carries urine out of the bladder). There is no cutting or heating of prostate tissue. Once the enlarged prostate tissue is no longer pressing on the urethra, normal urinary function is restored. And because there is no cutting or heating, men who undergo the UroLift procedure don’t experience erectile dysfunction or a change in ejaculate that is common with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
“In this age of COVID, I didn’t want to have to stay in the hospital, so I chose the UroLift and I’m glad I did,” Carr admits.
Carr’s UroLift procedure went well. “I went in to Dr. Moore’s office at 10 a.m. on Monday and was out by noon. I felt some discomfort, but it was relatively minor. There was some bleeding the first afternoon, but by Monday evening it was all gone. I never really had a lot of pain, even though I had pain meds. I had some soreness that day and the next day. I took pain medications as a precaution, but by Wednesday, I was completely off the pain medication, and a lot of my urination symptoms had disappeared, too. It was phenomenal. I remember that Wednesday my stream was strong and just went on and on and on. I thought, ‘Wow, this is what it used to be like.’”
Ten days after his UroLift, Carr says the majority of his BPH-like symptoms had disappeared. “At least a couple of times a week I sleep all night. I may get up one or two times during the night, but I think my waking is a side effect of my chemotherapy. I’m experiencing hot flashes, and have great sympathy for women going through menopause! I had no idea. Oftentimes, I wake up because of hot flashes, not because I have to go to the bathroom. I think if it wasn’t for the chemo side effects, I’d probably sleep all night.”
Life After the Lift
Carr says the UroLift procedure has made a huge difference in his life. “It’s hard to have a real quality of life if you’re tired all the time. When you’re sleep deprived you don’t feel like doing anything. You feel like you’re in a fog half the time, no energy, no drive. All of those things have improved. I’m enjoying life now. Sure, I’ve got some side effects because of chemotherapy and radiation, but that has nothing to do with the results of my UroLift. I feel better. I’m happy. I’m not constantly worrying about bathroom issues. Before, I’d go to the restroom, then need to go again 15 minutes later. You’re worried about going places.”
“I am so glad we could improve Mr. Carr’s quality of life,” says Dr. Moore. “UroLift is an excellent option for men with urination issues even if they are related to prostate cancer. The UroLift opens the urine channel immediately and does not delay or interfere with other therapies such as radiation.”
Hindsight is 20-20
Carr encourages other men to get help sooner rather than later. “If you have a problem urinating, don’t assume it’s just old age,” the 69-year-old warns. “Talk to an expert. Go see a urologist. Don’t wait until it becomes metastatic prostate cancer. There are ads running all the time on television talking about medications to relieve prostate symptoms. I assumed I was just getting older and this is just what happens. I didn’t do anything about it until I got so scared that I couldn’t live with it any more. Don’t wait.”