Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline has become the first in Scotland to introduce the use of an innovative new device called iTind to treat lower urinary tract symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.
An enlarged prostate is a common problem experienced by men over 50. The condition can cause those affected to urinate much more frequently, affecting sleep and overall quality of life. The condition can also make it difficult to empty the bladder, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections.
Treatment for enlarged prostate routinely involves medication; however, this is not always effective and in some cases can result in side-effects. Traditional surgical options are also available which can remove part of the prostate to improve urine flow out of the bladder, although these interventions are much more invasive, requiring a stay in hospital and can affect sexual function.
The new treatment, which was carried out at Queen Margaret Hospital for the first time in April 2023, involves the temporary implantation of a small device into the prostate for 5-7 days, after which it is completely removed. Once the iTind has been implanted, it expands and applies gentle pressure, remodelling the tissue around the opening of the bladder and creating a wider channel through which urine can flow.
Unlike more invasive surgical techniques, the procedure can be carried out under local anaesthetic and typically takes less than 30 minutes to implant, offering rapid and effective symptom relief while preserving sexual function and urinary continence.
As the treatment is less invasive than traditional surgical interventions, patients can be treated as day-cases and can return home the very same day.
Mr Feras Al Jaafari is a consultant urological surgeon in NHS Fife. He said:
“The effects of an enlarged prostate can have a real impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting bladder function and disrupting sleep patterns.
“By implanting an iTind device for around a week, we can improve the flow of urine out of the bladder and reduce their chances of developing urinary tract infections. As the new procedure is significantly less invasive than traditional interventions for the condition, patients can receive the treatment and return home the same day.
As the treatment can very often be carried out without the need general anaesthetic, it is also safer for patients.”
Over recent years, Queen Margaret Hospital has become a centre of excellence for urological surgery, offering a series of new and pioneering surgical innovations. The successful adoption of iTind follows the use of the Urolift procedure in 2018 and Rezum in 2020, both of which were carried out at Queen Margaret Hospital ahead of anywhere else in Scotland.
NHS Fife Medical Director, Dr Christopher McKenna, has welcomed the pioneering use of iTind in Fife. Dr McKenna said:
“Queen Margaret Hospital hosts a Day Surgery facility, which is envy of other Boards in Scotland and a centre for ambulatory surgery excellence. Treatments are offered there which are not offered anywhere else in Fife and in the case of this ground-breaking treatment, not offered anywhere else in Scotland. Fife is fortunate to benefit from a highly innovative urology service at the forefront of urological surgical techniques and the adoption of iTIND gives further evidence to this.
“In addition to the clinical benefits this treatment offers patients, as the procedure can be carried out more quickly than conventional prostate surgery we should see a positive impact on our waiting times.”