Medical Update: Men’s Urination Problems

Medical Update: Men’s Urination Problems

Physician Now Offering UroLift® Procedure for Men with Urination Problems

Dr. Kenneth Essig, a Winter Haven urological surgeon, has become the first doctor in Polk County to offer the minimally invasive UroLift® procedure to male patients with urination problems.  UroLift treats issues caused by an enlarged prostrate associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, which occurs as men age.  It is usually done in less than 20 minutes in an outpatient setting with anesthesia.

“It has been around for more than five years and the outcomes are excellent,” Dr. Essig says.

Candidates usually are men between 50 and 75 who have difficulty with urination.  While there is medication to treat this, some may not want— or be able to take— it.  Not everyone qualifies: Some may be ineligible because of the size and shape of the prostrate.  “It’s probably not a bad idea to at least try the medication to see if its works,” Dr. Essig advises.  “If the medication is helpful, that helps us pinpoint that the actual problem is coming from the prostrate.”

UroLift allows patients to sidestep the needs for more invasive treatments that may involve scraping, cutting or surgery to remove all or parts of the prostrate.  With UroLift, small ties inserted into the prostrate are used to pull it back like a curtain.  With the prostrate away from the urethra, urine can flow.

“After a man has scraping, he loses his ability to have ejaculation.  With UroLift, that’s not the case,” Dr. Essig explains.

Problems usually develop when the prostrate becomes too large, putting pressure on the urethra and causing frequent trips to the bathroom.

Dr. Essig says there has been “tremendous” interest in the procedure he began performing in April.  It is frequently covered by insurance, including Medicare.

UroLift initially may cause some burning upon urination for a day or two; in general discomfort usually subsides within a week or two.  Patients can return to their normal routine in days.

An enlarged prostate or BPH is a common condition affecting more than 40 percent of men in their 50s and more than 80 percent of men in their 70s.  Although it is non-cancerous, it can significantly affect quality of life, causing depression, interrupting sleep, and reducing productivity.  Left untreated, it can worsen and cause permanent bladder damage.

Dr. Essig specializes in overactive bladder issues, in addition to pelvic and prostate health.  He holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Cincinnati.  His residency was at State University of New York Health Sciences Center in Syracuse, New York.

Dr. Essig’s office is at 7599 Cypress Gardens Blvd.  His practice is part of the BayCare Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group in the greater Tampa Bay area, with more than 500 providers.


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