As men grow older, their prostate slowly begins to get bigger. The reason behind this phenomenon is still unknown, but experts believe that it could be due to change in the hormone levels. Although this is an absolutely normal process, some men’s prostates grow to an uncomfortably large size. This condition is known as benignprostatic hyperplasia, and it affects an estimated 3.2 million men in the UK alone.
The enlarged prostate pushes against the urethra and bladder, restricting the flow of the urine. As a result, the bladder never gets fully empty and men have the urge to go to the loo more often. Not only does this interrupt their everyday life, it also cuts into their sleep during the night as well.
Everyone should be able to sleep in peace without having to run to the bathroom every few hours. Luckily enough, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York and University of Toronto in Canada have been cooking up an ingenious solution to help men get a good night’s sleep.
It’s a tiny spider-shapeddevice that is inserted down the urethra in a 5-minute procedure using a catheter and a camera. Once it’s inside, the device opens up and releases its little ‘legs’ which then pushes the inflated prostate away from the bladder. The device is then left within the body for five to seven days, and when it’s removed the prostate will stay in the same pushed back position.
The researchers tested the gadget on 185 men between the ages of 55 and 70. Results revealed that more than 50% of men reported an improvement in the urinary flow rate. Moreover, eight in ten men found that their symptoms had eased after the procedure. Consultant urologist at Bristol Urology Associates, Professor Raj said:
Any means of reducing this problem are to be welcomed.
This device does the trick. It is only used for a short period—any foreign body left in the urinary tract may induce infection.
The holy grail would be finding a device like this that can remain in situ, achieving its effects indefinitely.