Tips to Live By

Prostatic Urethral Lift Procedure: A Newer Way to Treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

March 10, 2020 - Katie McCallum

If you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, you may already know about the various medications and surgical procedures commonly used to treat the condition. But, you may not have heard of a newer procedure, called the urethral lift procedure.

"The prostatic urethral lift procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve the symptoms of BPH," explains Dr. Nathan Starke, urologist at Houston Methodist. "It's a great in-between treatment option for men who don't want to take medications, or don't benefit from medications, and don't want to have surgery."

While Dr. Starke says that BPH surgery is still the gold-standard for treating BPH, some men don't want to go through the hassle of having surgery.

If you're just learning about or considering urethral lift procedure, you probably have some questions. Dr. Starke, who performs more than 50 procedures every year, is here to provide answers.

What is the urethral lift procedure?

"An enlarged prostate narrows the urethra, causing uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms such as frequent urination, difficulty urinating and dribbling at the end of urination," explains Dr. Starke. "The urethral lift procedure uses small implants to help open up the urethra."

The procedure is minimally invasive and FDA-approved, can be performed in your urologist's office and does not require heating, cutting or removing prostate tissue.

"This is typically a one-time procedure, and the implants can stay in forever," Dr. Starke says. "But, if needed for medical reasons, the implants can be easily removed."

What are the benefits of the urethral lift procedure?

The urethral lift procedure provides many of the same benefits as traditional BPH surgery. After the procedure, the vast majority of men see an improvement in their symptoms, and most men are able to stop taking their BPH medications altogether.

"Recovery after the urethral lift procedure is much easier and faster than after traditional BPH surgery," says Dr. Starke. "In addition, we can perform the procedure in the clinic in only about 20 minutes."

Other benefits of the procedure include:

  • No hospital stay
  • No general anesthesia
  • No catheter


Am I candidate for the urethral lift procedure?

To determine if you're a candidate for the this procedure, your urologist will perform a 30-second procedure called a cystoscopy. This procedure uses a very small camera to visualize your bladder and prostate and can help your urologist determine whether or not you're a good fit for the procedure.

"In appropriately selected men, the urethral lift procedure offers the same benefits as surgery," explains Dr. Starke. "The vast majority of men with BPH are candidates for the procedure, but the cystoscopy helps us ensure we're choosing the right ones."


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