Urological Sciences Research Foundation - USRF

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about
TransUrethral Microwave Thermo-Therapy (TUMT)

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Q: How uncomfortable is TUMT?

A: The discomfort is minimal, and little, if any anesthesia is normally required, other than local anesthesia placed in the urethra and bladder. Most patients feel a sensation of warmth or heat in the genital region during the treatment and some patients experience discomfort. The patient must lay still with a catheter in place for approximately 45 minutes, and in many men, light sedation will be required. Generally, a small catheter is required to aid in comfortable bladder emptying for a few days afterward.

Q: What kind of urinary after-effects can I expect?

A: Mild-to-moderate frequency, urgency, and straining can be expected for a few weeks afterward. Rarely, transient urinary retention can develop. Severe after-effects, such as bleeding or incontinence, have only been reported as extremely isolated events.

Q: Can I go home right after the procedure?

A: Yes. You should arrange for someone to drive you home because you may have been given some medication to help you relax during the procedure. Your urologist will give you post-treatment instructions and explain the recovery period to you.

Q: Is TUMT covered by insurance?

Medicare provides coverage for TUMT (CPT Code No. 53850) and many commercial insurance plans also pay for the procedure. You need to contact your insurance company to find out if they provide coverage for the treatment. If your insurance plan needs more information before they will make a decision on coverage, ask your doctor's office for assistance.

Q: Is TUMT as effective as TURP?

A: Probably not, if results are judged purely in terms of tissue ablation, urinary flow rates, and pressure/flow relationships. However, the two appear to be competitive in terms of symptomatic improvement in well-chosen patients followed for as long as 5 years

Q: Will TUMT change my sex life?

A: A general consensus is that impotency, diminished libido, and retrograde ejaculation do not occur after TUMT. However, in one recent report (Reference 3), four of 18 sexually active men claimed to develop retrograde ejaculation. This is an isolated report, as yet unsubstantiated by others.

Q: Can TUMT be used for cancerous obstruction?

A: No, the device is only approved in the U.S. for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Q: How do I know if I am a suitable candidate for TUMT?

A: You will need to be evaluated by a urologist qualified in use of the device. The evaluation will require cystoscopy, ultrasonography, and other technical measures to determine the anatomic and functional characteristics of the obstruction.

Q: If I am completely blocked, is TUMT appropriate?

A: Generally, no. Once complications have developed---including bleeding, recurrent infections, bladder stones, kidney failure, or complete blockage---more traditional surgical intervention is usually required.

Q: Is TUMT a permanent cure? Will it have to be repeated?

A: Good responses appear to be durable for the 5 years of follow-up currently available. However, perhaps 15% of treated men will fail to respond to treatment, even in very experienced hands, and they will eventually require additional treatment.

Q: Does TUMT treatment provide lasting results?

A: During the last 10 years more than 100,000 men worldwide have been successfully treated. More than five years of clinical data shows that TUMT is an effective and lasting treatment.

Men in Southern California interested in TUMT may
direct questions to Dr. Marks at 310-559-9800.

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