Posted 12/11/2020 7:36 AM (GMT -7)
Hello. It's been a couple of years since I posted. Decided to share my experience.
BPH since around 2000 or before so it began at about age 37.
Flomax started soon after that. Worked for a while, then had to go to 2 flomax daily.
Experienced fatigue, some retro on that dosage.
Scans showed slightly enlarged prostate with median lobe problems, but by 2013, prostate measure 53 and in May experienced flow crisis and had to use a catheter. Local urologist advised laser but I started researching. I found out about the PAE and went to have it done. I did see some improvement, but other problems had to also be addressed.
I had many bladder diverticuli and had them removed. Horrible experience, but once healed, my flow was decent, at least better, but still needed medication.
Bad fatigue/retro from Flomax, so my new urologist advised to cut to 1 flomax per day and 1 cialis 5mg per day although I had never really experienced ED. Fine for a year or so and flow began to get worse, so Proscar was added to the mix. This improved things for a couple years or so.
Then, 2 years ago, my flow slowly grew progressively worse. Eventually, Constant infections again. Many nighttime bathroom trips. Late December 2019, I had to start intermittent catheters again. Searching for options.
My good urologist had retired. New urologist demanded a turp was my only option. I said no thanks. He didn't like it.
Looked into options.
Turp/Greenlight laser- no way. Impotence, incontinence, retrograde ejaculation, procedure failure rates, etc.
PAE- (another one) very unlikely to work because of the large/long median lobe.
Urolift- no option. Scans showed I had a very long median lobe pushing up on the bladder (which made me have a much longer artificial bladder neck that was very narrow.
Aquablation- talked with office in Georgia about this procedure, but they had a long waiting list and it would be July before they could do mine though It looked promising.
Focal Laser Ablation- only other option I was considering. Dr K in Houston. It was very expensive (about $21K) but my wife told me "it's only money" just do it. I agreed and it was actually what I had already decided.
*** Covid hit while deciding between Aquablation and FLA. and date for the ablation was pushed even further. My situation was deteriorating rapidly and could now hardly urinate at all. So, the decision for Houston was made.
Procedure on June 3 . I was told I'd get worse until about June 15 and slowly improve, but the long/large median lobe might change things. MD said I had the worst (or 2nd worst) median lobe he had dealt with, so unsure about how long the wait for improvement.
Staff were great and procedure was no problem at all.
But, most of June and July I had a foley catheter in. No improvement at all those 2 months. In fact, worse.
Finally, about August 20, almost 60 days post-procedure, I was able to urinate some but still had to cath.
Mild improvement over the next 30 days.
Then on October 3, I went to urinate and the stream was so strong that it sounded like a horse peeing. Drastic overnight change.
It took over 4 months to see the results I was looking for, much longer than most because of the great median lobe involvement. Current situation....
* I am stepping down on my medication slowly.
* I have no need to cath.
* No more infections.
* Few nights with bathroom visits.
* No ED at all
* No Retrograde ejaculation.
* No straining to urinate. No having to sit down to urinate. No starting and stopping stream. No weak stream.
* I can drink coffee and tea again. (Coffee historically always shut my bladder neck completely closed)
This was the best $21K I've ever spent.
This has been a long journey. Advice:
1. Never automatically trust the advice/demands of your urologist or any other doctor .
2. Do your own research.
3. Realize the % chance for bad outcomes (impotence, incontinence, retrograde ejaculation, strictures, failures, etc)
4. Pray about your choice.
5. Don't let money drive your decision. You have to live with the permanent side effects of a bad decision.
6. Don't wait. The sooner you get treated the less problems you will have from damage being done to your bladder and kidneys.