Healthcare, Mon Health System

Mon Health first in state to offer new procedure for men with enlarged prostates

MORGANTOWN – Mon Health Medical Center achieved another first this month – becoming the first in the state to offer a novel, effective procedure for men with enlarged prostates.

The condition is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and the procedure was performed May 14 using the Optilume BPH Catheter System.

The Optilume BPH Catheter System

Dr. Jaschar Shakuri-Rad – he goes by Dr. Rad – urologist, medical director of Robotic Surgery and Medical Specialties did the procedure and explained BPH and why this new treatment is valuable.

Men’s prostates enlarge as they grow older, he said, this can put pressure on the bladder and urethra and affect urination – causing urgency, frequency, nighttime voids. These can be precursors to bladder damage or even bladder failure.

Along with medication, an old method of treating BPH is called TURP – transurethral resection of the prostate.

In TURP, the Mayo Clinic explains, an instrument called a resectoscope is placed up the urethra and helps a surgeon see and trim away extra prostate tissue that’s blocking urine flow.

Rad said the procedure can lead to bleeding, incontinence and sexual dysfunction. So over the last 10-15 years newer treatments have developed that are also better than medications and their potential side effects.

Six years ago, Rad said, he introduced the UroLift implant procedure and Mon Health Medical Center became the highest volume center in the region to provide it. Then he introduced Aquablation, in which a robotically controlled, heat-free waterjet removes the prostate tissue. And MHMC again became the highest volume provider in the region.

The advantage of Optilum, he said, is it doesn’t involve any kind of cutting or implants. “This Optilume procedure is a novel procedure that we believe to be very impactful and less invasive than what we were already offering.”

In the Optilume BPH procedure, a balloon is inserted via catheter into the urethra and inside the prostate, which causes a small fracture in the prostate without further damaging it. Then they place a secondary balloon with drug coating – paclitaxel – on it.

The paclitaxel is released into and diffuses through the prostate. This allows the enlarged prostate tissues to regress and prevents scar tissue from forming and the lobes of the prostate from re-fusing back together, which keeps the channel open.

Studies have shown it is beneficial and effective, Rad said, and only a few hundred procedures have been performed nationwide. This one was the first in West Virginia.

The idea of using this Optilume device and medicine in the urethra is not new, he said, but applying the procedure to the prostate is new. It’s outpatient and takes about 15-20 minutes, he said. The patient can go home the same day.

This first patient did fantastic, he said. “We’re going to look forward to offering it to many more patients to come.”

Their goal is to offer patients all treatment options and allow them to choose the best solution for them, he said, and they are counseling all BPH patients on this option now.

“We want to give our patients options so that they don’t have to travel.” When the best options are offered at Mon Health, he said, patients can get treatment at home instead of traveling to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore.

“It’s always about the patient, about the community.”