Pioneering prostate treatment at Fife hospital is first for Scotland

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A Fife hospital has become the first in Scotland to introduce the use of an innovative new device to treat lower urinary tract symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate - a common problem among men aged over 50.

Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline is leading the way with the new treatment which is less invasive and can be treated as a day case.

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.

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Treatment for enlarged prostate routinely involves medication, but 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 pioneering new treatment is being delivered at Queen Margaret Hospital in DunfermlineThe pioneering new treatment is being delivered at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline
The pioneering new treatment is being delivered at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline

Now, specialists at Queen Margaret can insert a small device, called an iTind, into the prostate for five to seven days, after which it is completely removed. Once it 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.

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 - and because it is less invasive than traditional surgical interventions, patients can be treated as day-cases and can return home the very same day.

The new treatment was carried out at Queen Margaret for the first time in April.

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Mr Feras Al Jaafari, a consultant urological surgeon in NHS Fife, 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.”

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 at the west Fife hospital ahead of anywhere else in Scotland.

Dr Christopher McKenna, NHS Fife medical director, welcomed the pioneering use of iTind in Fife, adding: “Queen Margaret Hospital hosts a day surgery facility, which is envy of other boards in Scotland. 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.”