Aquablation Therapy

Cabell Huntington Hospital is the first in the state and the region to perform the first Aquablation® therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate.

Stephen Woolums, MD, board-certified urologist at HIMG, an outpatient facility of St. Mary’s Medical Center and a member of Mountain Health Network, said the minimally invasive technology of Aquablation is used to resection tissue and relieves the symptoms of BPH.

Aquablation therapy is a minimally invasive, heat-free surgical technique used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms due to BPH,” said Dr. Woolums. “Aquablation therapy is delivered by the AquaBeam Robotic System® and uses water jets to remove enlarged prostate tissue with less risk of side effects.”

A normal prostate is approximately the size of a walnut and sits underneath the bladder, wrapped around the urethra. As the prostate grows and becomes larger than normal, it may constrict the urethra, making it difficult to urinate and apply pressure on the bladder, causing it to weaken and have difficulty emptying

Nearly 70% of men 50 years and older have BPH symptoms. While BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer, it can greatly affect a man's quality of life causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as:

  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Weak or slow urinary stream
  • A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
  • Difficulty or delay in starting urination
  • A urinary stream that stops and starts

If left untreated, BPH can cause significant health problems, including irreversible bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.

During the Aquablation procedure, while the patient is either under spinal or general anesthesia, the urologist uses multi-dimensional imaging to identify the exact treatment plan based on each individual patient. Excess prostate tissue is then removed with a heat-free water jet. The procedure takes less than an hour, and typically involves an overnight stay.

“The alternative to Aquablation is surgery that cuts or ablates (burns) prostate tissue, which increases recovery time and side effects,” said Dr. Woolums. “With Aquablation, there is no cutting or heating and patients return home with immediate results.”

For more information on Aquablation therapy, please call 304.399.4650.