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New Aquablation Procedure Offers Better, Safer Care for BPH

LVHN only network offering treatment in Lehigh Valley area

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angelo baccala

Even for doctors and clinicians, talking about benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BHP, can be challenging.

For one thing, says Angelo Baccala, MD, there are medications like Flomax to treat prostate-related urinary problems. Plus, primary care physicians have a lot to talk to people about in a short time.

But Dr. Baccala, who is Deputy Physician in Chief, Program Development/Innovation, Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence and also Chief, Division of Urology, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), says there is help available beyond medication.

“If your patient has BPH, send them to us,” Dr. Baccala says. “There are many different things that we can offer patients that have different side-effect profiles, and we can really tailor the right treatment for the right patient – what their needs are, what their concerns are for side effects, to make sure we give them the right option that’s more successful.”

One of the newest and most effective treatments is aquablation – a robotic procedure that only LVHN is offering in the Lehigh Valley area.

A safer, less invasive, more durable procedure

“Aquablation is a surgical procedure that uses an image-guided, high-pressure water jet to destroy prostate tissue that is contributing to BPH symptoms,” Dr. Baccala explains.

When compared with the prior best-practice BPH treatment, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), aquablation is a big step forward.

“That procedure usually required an overnight stay. It was much more invasive. It tended to be bloodier, and there was a lot of regrowth of tissue that we saw down the road,” Dr. Baccala says.

But with aquablation, the procedure and recovery are far different.

“It’s safe. It’s more effective than standard treatment. And, very frankly, it’s state of the art,” Dr. Baccala says. “The majority of men are fully recovered and back to normal activities three to four weeks after aquablation. They’re off medication and back to their normal routine.”

And on top of all that, aquablation’s retreatment rate is incredibly low – about 1 percent per year. “Compared with TURP,” Dr. Baccala says, “that’s about a 51 percent reduction in retreatment rate.”

Innovation unique to LVHN

Combine this procedure with a dedicated team of urology experts, plus an approach unique to the Institute for Surgical Excellence, and you can be sure people with BPH receive customized specialty care – and that they can finally stop taking their medication.

“These guys are experts in this field, and they can precisely tell you this is the right treatment for you,” Dr. Baccala says of his LVHN team. “This is all that we do.”

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