What is transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)?

Transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia. During the procedure, a small antenna is inserted into the tip of the penis through the urethra and threaded to the prostate. The antenna will release microwave energy that will heat and destroy the excess prostate tissue, blocking the flow of urine.

Who is a candidate for a transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)?

This procedure is more appropriate for patients with BPH who have small- to moderate-sized prostates.

Your doctor will evaluate your case to determine if you are a candidate for TUMT or other minimally invasive treatments for an enlarged prostate. During the evaluation process, your doctor will consider the size and shape of your prostate, any other health problems you have as well as the severity of your symptoms.

Risks of a transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)

Although TUMT is a relatively safe procedure, possible side effects may include:

  • Urinary symptoms may intensify
    In rare cases, TUMT can cause chronic inflammation in the prostate, which can lead to painful urination or frequent need to urinate.
  • Inability to urinate
    Many patients have trouble urinating without a catheter for a few days after the procedure. If you experience this issue, you will have your catheter in place until you can urinate on your own.
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
    If you have a catheter in place for an extended period, a urinary tract infection can develop. UTIs can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
  • Retreatment
    In some cases, TUMT may not be effective. If your symptoms are not relieved with the procedure, you may need another alternative treatment.

TUMT may not be an option for you if you have the following:

What to expect during a transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)

Transurethral microwave thermotherapy can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. The procedure takes approximately 60 minutes.

During the procedure, your doctor will insert a microwave urinary antenna into the penis, through the urethra and thread it to the prostate. When in place, micro radio waves are emitted into the prostate to destroy the excess prostatic tissue that is blocking your urine flow. Surrounding healthy tissue will be avoided. You may feel discomfort or spasms in the bladder and surrounding areas during the procedure — these side effects will subside after the procedure is completed.

Recovery from a transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)

Most patients can go home after their sedative wears off. You will need someone to drive you home, and you should avoid driving for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

You may experience mild discomfort, blood in your urine, difficulty urinating or difficulty holding your urine in. Most patients need a catheter in place for a few days to collect urine until healing begins.

If you experience severe abdominal pain or high fever, call your doctor right away.

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