September 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM CDT - Updated July 21 at 12:59 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health regulators have approved the first permanent implant to treat men's urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate.
The Food and Drug Administration says it approved the Urolift system to relieve low or blocked urine flow in men age 50 or older. The implant works by holding back prostate tissue that presses against the urethra, causing difficulty urinating.
More than half of men in their sixties have some urinary problems due to enlarged prostate, including frequent urination, weak stream and leaking. Current treatment options include drug therapy and surgery to remove part of the prostate. The Urolift is implanted by a doctor using a handheld device that is inserted through the urethra.
Side effects reported in company trials include pain during urination, blood in urine and decreased urine flow.
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