Daniel's Story: Aquablation

Learn how the Aquablation procedure gave back a patient's quality of life.

Although benign prostatic hyperplasia is not life-threatening, it can be bothersome and cause various complications, leading to a more severe condition. Aquablation® is a safe and effective treatment option to help relieve symptoms associated with benign prostate hyperplasia.

What Is Aquablation?

The Aquablation procedure is an advanced, minimally invasive robotic treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostates that may provide long-lasting relief with low rates of complications. This enlarged prostate treatment may provide significant symptom relief with fewer risk effects that impact the quality of life compared to transurethral resection of the prostate—the standard surgical approach in select patients for many years to alleviate obstructive voiding dysfunction in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

How Does Aquablation Therapy Work?

Enlarged prostate treatment through Aquablation therapy is performed with the AquaBeam® Robotic System (also called waterjet ablation), designed for resectioning and removing prostate tissue in males who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. The AquaBeam® Robotic System is the first FDA-cleared surgical robot utilizing automated tissue resection for treating lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Through the assistance of a robot, the surgeon maps the exact treatment contour and then monitors as the robot executes the treatment plan, guiding a precisely calibrated heat-free waterjet with speed and accuracy. The waterjet, pulsating near the speed of sound, removes prostatic tissue.

Some of the potential benefits of Aquablation® Therapy include the following:

  • Can treat an extensive range of prostate sizes and shapes for benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • No incisions are needed with access to the prostate through the urethra
  • Less erectile dysfunctions and a higher rate of continence preservation and ejaculatory functioning
  • Catheter time is one to three days following surgery
  • The Aquablation procedure takes less than 40 minutes, with an average resection time of less than 10 minutes

How Aquablation Treats Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate)

As many as 14 million men in the United States suffered from lower urinary tract infections caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate in 2010. To better understand benign prostatic hyperplasia, it is essential to learn about the two main growth periods a man goes through over a lifetime.

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system that sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is the size of a walnut and weighs about an ounce. The prostate produces fluid for semen and plays a vital role in a man's fertility. As a man goes through early puberty, the prostate doubles in size. The second growth phase occurs around age 25 and continues throughout most of a man's life.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs when the prostate gland becomes so large that it presses against and pinches the urethra, prompting the bladder wall to become thicker. Over time, the bladder may weaken and lose its ability to empty. The urine remaining in the bladder can cause problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia, such as lower urinary tract infections. The cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is unknown.

Some of the lower urinary tract infections that may indicate a benign prostatic hyperplasia are:

  • Urinary frequency—urination eight or more times a day
  • Urinary urgency—the inability to delay urination
  • Trouble starting a urine stream
  • A weak or interrupted urine stream
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Nocturia—frequent urination during periods of sleep
  • Urinary retention
  • Urinary incontinence—the accidental loss of urine
  • Pain after ejaculation or during urination
  • Urine that has an unusual color or smell

Enlarged prostate symptoms do not usually appear before age 40, but symptoms may increase with age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90% of men older than 80.

Men aged 40 years and older with a family history of benign prostatic hyperplasia are at risk for developing this condition. Other risk factors include medical conditions, such as obesity, heart and circulatory disease, Type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Aquablation?

As with most benign prostatic hyperplasia procedures, you will wake up with a catheter that allows you to pee. The doctor will remove the catheter before discharge to check if you can empty your bladder. You may be asked to stay another night in the hospital or go home with a catheter for a few days if you still cannot urinate. However, many patients leave the hospital without having to wear a catheter. Following surgery, you may experience mild burning during urination for a couple of weeks, but it can be managed through pain medications.

Insurances Accepted and Payment Plan Options

Keeping your health in check is a journey best taken together. When you come to any of our network of hospitals at Baptist Health System, we'll provide you with all the information you need upfront, including financial obligations.

As with any medical procedure, we know that planning is essential. That's why we have made it easier for you to make payment arrangements for peace of mind. We work with various insurance providers and offer flexible payment plans for most treatments and procedures. Please contact your insurance carrier with specific questions about your covered services and benefits.

Listen to your lingering pain. If you have an upcoming procedure or surgery you've been putting off, please don't delay care. Our dedicated staff is ready to address your questions and help make financial arrangements. Visit our patient financial resources page to learn about our insurance, payment plans, pricing information and estimates or watch this video to learn how we make healthcare more affordable.

Find a Urologist in San Antonio, Texas

We are your partner in care in all stages of your life. Baptist Health is here to help you understand your risk and explore treatment options if you already have a diagnosis. We're here with safe and compassionate care, always.

Please call 866-309-2873 or find a doctor nearby to learn more about our services. If it's an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Please don't delay care.