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Revolutionary UroLift® System launches at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust offering the first UK community NHS treatment service


Innovative day case using the UroLift® System to Treat Enlarged Prostate offers rapid relief and often replaces invasive operation that typically requires a month’s recuperation and a two-night hospital stay


Exeter - 19 October 2017 - NeoTract, Inc., announced today that the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust is, for the first time, routinely offering a new day case surgical treatment in its network of community hospitals – the first Trust in the country to do so.


The treatment, requiring no cutting, heating or removal of tissue, is a new option for the estimated 300 men a year in the county who need surgery for a urological condition described as very common in older males.


The UroLift System procedure treats symptoms due to urinary outflow obstruction secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men. Delivered during a minimally-invasive procedure, the UroLift implants act like window curtain tie-backs to hold the lobes of an enlarged prostate open. Patients typically recover from the treatment quickly, and often return to their normal routines with minimal downtime.


The first list performed by the Royal Devon and Exeter (RD&E) NHS Trust was on 12 July (2017) and six patients were treated with UroLift System. All were treated under local anaesthetic. The list was performed at Tiverton District Hospital, one of the local community hospitals run by the Trust. A second UroLift System treatment list was carried out at the Day Unit in the same hospital on 23 August.


The lead surgeon was Consultant Urologist Mr. Malcolm Crundwell, who said: “Six patients were treated and all of the patients went home on the same day. They were each in hospital for around four hours in total. I am delighted to say that the five patients on that list who didn’t have a catheter beforehand weren’t catheterized afterwards as they would have been done with the procedure that the UroLift System replaces.”


All six patients were previously on a waiting list for a TURP or Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate – an operation that involves cutting away parts of the prostate and a 2-3 day stay in hospital, catheterization following the operation, and typically, a month of recuperation. Mr. Crundwell said: “A man with a manual job would need to take a month off work following a TURP. But UroLift System patients get back to normal within days. All of the six patients who had a UroLift System treatment in July – who are aged in their 50s to 70s - would have otherwise had a TURP.”


“I believe the UroLift System is truly excellent news for men in Devon. It is really good for patients who haven't had to spend more than half a day in hospital. Unlike TURP, there’s no removal of tissue, so less pain and significantly less recovery time, no overnight stay, no general anaesthetic - so there’s less risk -  typically no catheter, so less discomfort. The UroLift System is good for the NHS because we tie up fewer NHS resources. And we do these treatments using day case facilities, freeing up operating theatres and ward beds for more complex cases.”


Mr. Crundwell explained that UroLift System fits in well with the Royal Devon and Exeter’s model for doing day case surgeries outside the main hospital building in Exeter using community hospital day case units.


“Community hospitals provide care closer to home and these community units are dedicated to providing quick day case surgery, which is a completely different thing than the complex operations we do in Exeter. The UroLift System slots perfectly into the system we have.”


“One of the drivers for doing the UroLift System treatment is that the waiting list for men is 6-9 months for a TURP, and that’s because we have great difficulty in getting patients admitted to the ward overnight. There still will be some men who need a TURP, but our objective here is to replace the majority of TURP procedures with UroLift System treatments. We’re aiming to do a UroLift System list every month including around six men and hope to very quickly bring down the TURP waiting time in this way.”


“I would hope that men feel more confident in having their symptoms dealt with quickly knowing that there are treatments which are a bit more acceptable to them.


“We do see men who have had problems a long time because they are worried about the side effects of the treatments themselves – the UroLift System is unique in surgical and non-surgical treatments in that it preserves sexual function. A lot of men will put off seeing their GP and go on suffering from urinary symptoms such as getting up multiple times in the night to urinate, being caught short and having difficulty going on long journeys.


“We have had a very strong response from men on the TURP waiting list that they prefer to have a UroLift System treatment, I do believe many men are worried about the sexual side effects of having their prostate operated on.”


Case study: Paul Medway


Paul Medway, 66, a semi retired gardener from Willand near Cullompton, Devon, is married to Brenda. They have two grown up children and two grandchildren. Paul became one of the first men in the county to undergo a groundbreaking new operation available on the NHS to treat men with one of the most common male health conditions.


An enlarged prostate is very common in older men. About one in four experience related symptoms by age 55 and by age 70, this rises to over 80 per cent. The symptoms are caused by a blockage in the flow of urine caused by the enlarged prostate.


The UroLift® System uses small, permanent implants, delivered during a minimally invasive outpatient operation, relieving the blockage caused by the enlarged tissue without cutting, heating, or removing prostate tissue. In eligible men, UroLift replaces a procedure involving cutting away the prostate that entails up to a 3-night stay in hospital, catheters and prolonged recovery time.


Paul noticed about 10 years ago that it took longer to go to the loo. “The first thing I noticed that it was slow to start – I realized something was wrong so I went to my GP, and he referred me to hospital where I had an internal examination. The Consultant there told me my prostate was enlarged. I started having tests to check for prostate cancer.  These all came back clear for cancer - thank goodness - the prostate was really enlarged but was totally benign.


“They did offer me some tablets to shrink my prostate. I only took them for a week because I felt ill – depressed, dizzy, it was an odd feeling because I always feel fine in myself. I just couldn’t take the tablets.


“I put up with the problems peeing, but it was getting worse. Year after year, it just got much worse, to the extent that in the last two years it was really getting embarrassing to go out anywhere because I’d be in the loo for so long. I made excuses not to go out.


“My sleep was severely affected too. I tried not to drink anything after 5pm unless it was a special occasion because I used to have to get up half a dozen times to go to the loo and Brenda used to wake up with me every time.


“I would go in there and it would drip out. After 10 minutes, I would feel I was busting to go again.


“Last New Year’s Eve I went for a few beers and I couldn’t pass water at all – I still had another pint. I went over to a friend’s house and he’s got a fountain so I went outside and tried to encourage myself to go by watching it for a while – nothing. Eventually I was bent over with pain and Brenda had to call an ambulance. I went into hospital and was given a catheter which I had in for 3-4 weeks.


“A catheter is horrible – so restrictive. It’s basically a way of draining your bladder using a tube going through your penis – there’s a sort of balloon at one end that blows up inside the bladder and a tube down your leg attached to a bag. You literally walk around and the wee comes out and fills the bag up. At night you have to change to using a bigger bag.


“I had it for three – four weeks but it felt like years. I couldn’t do my gardening – every time I moved, the catheter pulled up, it’s uncomfortable.”


After Paul’s catheter was taken out, he says he went back to “normal”.

“Normal for me was my wee dribbling out – I never felt like my bladder emptied. I felt I was busting but when I went to the loo, what I would pass wouldn’t fill an egg cup. I just couldn’t go on like this.”


Paul realized that he needed a permanent, surgical solution to his problem and went to see Mr Malcolm Crundwell at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, who told him he’d be suitable for UroLift.


“I had my operation  on August 23 (2017).  I went in at 7.30am, had a urine test. I opted to have a general anaesthetic – although UroLift can be done under a local. By 11am it was all done. When I came round in the day ward, Mr Crundwell came to see me, he said everything went fine. I had a sandwich and a cup of tea. I was lying in bed then I wanted a wee so I walked to the toilet. Mr Crundwell said I could go home as long as I’d passed water normally, which I did. The pee was a bit bloody, but otherwise everything was fine.


“Then about 4pm my daughter came to pick me up. I walked down the garden that night and I felt fine. I was a tiny bit uncomfortable at first – I took some paracetamol for three days. As soon as I wanted to go I had to go for a couple of days - I had to be on the ball. Then after the third day then I didn’t feel any pain at all.


“After a couple of weeks I was mowing the garden. I couldn’t believe how quick it was to get back to normal.


“The operation has been life changing. The flow has improved and the feeling of emptying is normal now. Like everyone else I go 3-4 hours between toilet breaks I used to have to know where all the toilets are. I can go shopping go around town without worrying.


“I feel lovely, perfect. I am sleeping better – I feel better in myself and sleeping well makes you feel brighter and happier.


I don’t go to bed till 11, I wake up about 6am, so a normal night’s sleep for the first time in 10 years. Before I go up to bed now I can empty myself right out – so I go right through the night without needing the loo.


“Every week it’s getting better and better – basically it’s normal. I think the UroLift is fantastic.”

Added 24 October 2017

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