NICE recommends new device which avoids surgery for enlarged prostate glands


UroLift system could save NHS £286 per patient

A new device for relieving the urinary tract problems caused by enlarged prostate glands in men is recommended in new NICE guidance.

The UroLift system, manufactured by NeoTract, is recommended for treating the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia – a condition where an enlarged prostate can push against the urethra, making it difficult for a man to pass urine.

The system involves inserting implants to move the excess prostate tissue away from the urethra, which stops the extra tissue blocking the flow of urine. It avoids the need to cut or remove the extra prostate tissue – methods commonly used to treat a urine blockage caused by an enlarged prostate.

The UroLift system is designed for use in men aged 50 years or older with urinary tract symptoms, where the size of their prostate is less than 100cm3. The benefits include avoiding risk to sexual function and a reduced length of hospital stay because treatment with UroLift can be carried out as a day procedure. The guidance estimates that savings of up £286 per patient could be made using this system when compared with other treatments.

Prostate enlargement is a common condition in older men – around 60% of men aged 60 or over have some degree of prostate enlargement. Along with difficulties passing urine, an enlarged prostate gland blocking the urine tract may lead to severe urinary tract infections, urinary retention, or renal failure. If drug treatment and conservative management options have been unsuccessful or are not appropriate, then surgery is offered when problems passing urine are severe.

Professor Carole Longson MBE, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “We’re pleased to publish this new guidance recommending the UroLift system for treating enlarged prostates in men over 50 years old with urinary tract symptoms.

“An enlarged prostate gland can lead to problems in passing urine and other urinary tract symptoms for many men as they get older. Based on the evidence examined, the independent Medical Technologies Advisory Committee concluded that as well as benefiting patients it’s also likely to benefit the NHS by saving money when used in day surgery.”

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Click here for the full guidance.