By LOIS KINDLE
HCA Florida South Shore Hospital is now exclusively offering the latest, most advanced treatment for men with BPH, more commonly known as prostate gland enlargement. The condition is common in males over age 50.
“We are the first [and only] hospital in Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties to offer this most-advanced, cutting-edge technology, which is specialized and intended for the prostate,” said CEO Sheldon Barr. “This significant investment by HCA Healthcare speaks to its commitment to South Shore Hospital. This new technology will help us become a Urology Center of Excellence for the community we serve.”
The Sun City Center-based hospital recently acquired the PROCEPT BioRobotics AquaBeam Robotic System, the first FDA-approved surgical robot technology used for a minimally invasive procedure called aquablation therapy. Through the use of a camera and ultrasound imaging, the surgeon can view the entire prostate in real time, accurately map the tissue needing removal and then perform a robotically controlled resection, using a heat-free waterjet.
The use of the waterjet is much more natural as opposed to burning and cutting, said Dr. Jonathan Pavlinec, of Florida Urology Partners. “There are no size limits [regarding prostate enlargement] in using this technology.”
The procedure usually takes less than an hour, and the patient generally stays overnight. It’s more precise, relies on the surgeon’s skill and results in minimal after-effects, if any.
“It’s definitely a game changer,” Pavlinec said. “It’s such a big change in what we can offer. All of our doctors are interested in using this incredible technology.
Pavlinec said it took 18 months of collaboration and teamwork to make this happen, and he credits Barr for her full commitment and support. He also appreciates HCA Healthcare’s investment.
“Sun City Center is the perfect community to place this technology,” he continued. “There’s really no limit now on what we can do here locally where the people who need it live.”
Benign prostate hyperplasia (prostate gland enlargement) is a condition where the nonmalignant growth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and bladder, causing issues with the urinary tract, urine flow, retention and more. It’s a definite quality of life issue and, if left untreated can lead to bladder or kidney damage and become so severe that urine flow can be blocked altogether.
This is one of the reasons men are encouraged to have annual prostate screenings, whether or not they’re having symptoms, Pavlinec said.
About half of all males between ages 51 and 60 have BPH, and the percentages increase as men grow older. By the time they’re 80, up to 90% percent of all men have enlarged prostates.
Risk factors include a man’s age; heredity (father who had BPH); weight; inactivity; and, sometimes, erectile dysfunction.
For more information or for an appointment, call Florida Urology Partners at 813-634-9231.