Fifty-three-year-old Regan Arndt, a self-descried road trip enthusiast, was recently forced to put a halt to his journeys.
“I was up a couple times a night,” Arndt said. “Two to three at least."
Instead of hitting the road, he was making constant trips to the bathroom to urinate. So he went to his doctor and found out his prostate was enlarged. It’s a common problem that affects an estimated 40 million men. Arndt had severe side effects from medications and didn't want a painful surgery to remove prostate tissue like his father had.
“He described the pain, and I definitely shied away from that just by his descriptions,” he said.
So Dr. Brian Hopkins gave him the Urolift procedure, implanting a small device made by Pleasanton-based Neotract.
“The urine has to go through this enlarged prostate,” Dr. Hopkins described pointing to a diagram. “What the Urolift does is we place these little bands, and they basically squeeze the prostate open so that urine can pass easily and unobstructed. It's as simple as that."
The procedure takes about an hour. Hopkins says the recovery time is one to two days, instead of one to two weeks with more invasive surgeries.
It helped Arndt immediately.
“It was incredible. I was moving and walking the next morning,” he said.
Patients often don’t have to continue with medication.
“This is the first of its kind. I think treatments like this are the wave of the future, I really do. I don't think we'll be using medications like we did in the past,” Hopkins said.
It helped Arndt get back on the road.
“After about a month or so, you didn't even know you had an operation or surgery … you felt younger. Ten years younger,” Arndt said.
Hopkins says the Urolift procedure is covered by Medicare and most insurance companies.