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Release: Feb. 9, 2000

Seminar on advanced treatments for enlarged prostates is at UI Feb. 17

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care will offer a two-hour seminar for patients on advanced treatments for enlarged prostate at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Hampton/Clarion Conference Center, 1220 1st Avenue in Coralville.

Karl Kreder, M.D., professor, and Jay Sandlow, M.D., assistant professor, faculty members in the UI department of urology and specialists in prostate treatment, will present the seminar.

Currently, the standard therapy for enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which involves surgical removal of the prostate through the urethra.

However, the use of microwave-generated heat to destroy the enlarged prostate is a new therapy that has recently gained momentum as a minimally invasive alternative treatment.

This new therapy, known as transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), has been used for more than a year by UI Health Care urologists. The technique involves the one-time placement of a catheter in the urethra and bladder under local anesthesia and the application of microwave-generated heat to destroy enlarged prostate tissue. TUMT is an outpatient procedure and is covered by most insurance plans.

The catheter has a built-in microwave generator and a cooling system to protect the surrounding tissues from the heat's destructive effects.

"The procedure is relatively painless," Sandlow said. "However, it doesn’t work in everybody. It is best suited for patients who are receiving medications to shrink the enlarged prostate and are either tired of taking them, cannot tolerate them for various reasons, or for whom the medication doesn't work."

While TURP still remains the standard therapy for enlarged prostate, TUMT seems to be a viable option in a number of cases, especially those in which the enlarged prostate is in a less-advanced stage. According to Sandlow, the availability of TUMT is an alternative to TURP that requires careful selection of patients.

The main advantage of TUMT over TURP is that it is minimally invasive and reduces side effects. Erectile dysfunction, for example, appears in up to 10 percent of patients with TURP, compared to only 1 percent with TUMT. After TURP, 80 percent of patients experience retrograde ejaculation compared to 10 percent treated with TUMT.

All men, particularly those over 55 years of age, are encouraged to attend the seminar.
Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, please call UI Health Access at (319) 384-8442 or toll-free (800) 777-8442.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.