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Transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT)

Transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT) is an outpatient procedure to treat urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).It's used less often now than it was in the past and has generally been replaced by newer treatments.

During TUMT, a small microwave antenna is inserted through the tip of your penis into the tube that carries urine from your bladder (urethra). Your doctor extends the antenna until it reaches the area of the urethra surrounded by the prostate. The antenna emits a dose of microwave energy that heats up and destroys excess prostate tissue blocking urine flow.

TUMT is one of several options for treating an enlarged prostate. To determine the right treatment choice for you, your doctor will consider how severe your symptoms are, what other health problems you have, and the size and shape of your prostate.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

TUMT is a treatment to ease urinary symptoms and complications resulting from blocked urine flow, generally from smaller, highly selected prostate patients, such as:

  • Frequent, urgent need to urinate
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Slow (prolonged) urination
  • Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
  • Stopping and starting again while urinating
  • The feeling you can't completely empty your bladder
  • Urinary tract infections

TUMT improves urinary flow in some, but not all, men. This procedure is generally more effective than are medications at improving urine flow, but less effective than surgical methods, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), HoLEP and open simple prostatectomy. It may take some time, from weeks to months, to see the results of the procedure.

However, TUMT has several advantages over surgery:

  • It can be done on an outpatient basis, so an overnight hospital stay isn't necessary.
  • It doesn't require general or spinal anesthesia.
  • It has a lower risk of causing heavy bleeding.
  • It's less likely to cause erectile dysfunction or other sexual side effects.
  • It's an option for men who need to avoid surgery because of other health problems.

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