Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) for BPH
With advances in medical technology, new minimally invasive treatments have emerged to treat common medical conditions. One such advance is the transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or the enlarged prostate.
The standard treatment for BPH is the transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or a modified form of it such as laser prostatectomy (PVP , RevoLix vaporesection/enucleation, HoLAP). While quite safe, these procedures require an anesthetic and must be done in an in-patient or out-patient hospital setting. These procedures are usually not indicated in medically high risk patients. TURP is associated with complications such as bleeding, infection, prolonged catheterization, stricture formation and the occasional need for readmission to the hospital to manage complications.
The trade-off of reduced risk for efficacy is a common phenomenon among patients who do not want the risks of surgery. One trade-off is watchful waiting. Another one is medical therapy with various medications such as alpha-blockers (terazosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin) and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (finasteride). The long-term outcomes and efficacy of medical therapy are still being evaluated. It is clear however that medical therapy does not achieve the same superior results as transurethral prostatectomy. In addition, with medical therapy, patients must adhere to a long-term and strict medication schedule that can be quite expensive in addition to the potential of significant side-effects to the medication being taken.
New therapies such as TUMT aim at offering BPH patients who do not want surgery, a one-time, safe and effective alternative to watchful waiting or medical therapy.
The TUMT procedure is performed right in the urologist’s office and requires between 30 and 45 minutes. A specially-made minimally-invasive catheter is inserted into the urethra using local anesthetic to avoid as much discomfort as possible. Within the tubing is a microwave antenna that heats and destroys prostatic tissue. The Urologix proprietary Cooled ThermoTherapy treatment is unique because cool water is circulated within the catheter. This cooling prevents surrounding healthy tissue from damage and preserves the urethra. After treatment, the prostate begins to heal and the patient will eventually return to more normal urinary patterns. TUMT is not a substitute for TURP or laser prostatectomy. TUMT achieves a result somewhere between that obtained by medical therapy and TURP. It takes about 6-8 weeks to achieve the expected result after the procedure.
Associated Urologists of Orange County are pleased to offer this technique to patients who qualify for it. We have selected the Urologix Cooled Thermotherapy unit to perform TUMT because of its superior technical and safety profile and the excellent results achieved by it.
TUMT is a covered procedure by many leading health insurers. It is best to check each patient’s insurance policy to make sure that TUMT is a covered procedure as Individual policies can vary from patient to patient.
The following insurance carriers cover TUMT. (There could be an exclusion to an individual patient’s policy, although this is rare)
For more information regarding TUMT, please contact Associated Urologists of Orange County. 714-639-1915