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Ohio Man’s Health Restored with New Prostate Surgery

Robert Price and his wife Patrice in Italy.

At the age of 61, Bob Price of Portage Lakes, Ohio, was accustomed to an active lifestyle of camping, hiking and skydiving. What he wasn’t used to was waking up frequently at night to urinate, or needing a bathroom break on a two-hour drive to visit family. Yet, by late 2022, these were regular occurrences.

“It was kind of gradual, over six to eight months, where I went from getting up maybe two or three times a night to almost every hour,” Bob says. “I wasn’t getting good sleep, and it was hard to go anywhere. I had to plan around it, and there was anxiety associated with this.”

Bob didn’t want this condition to disrupt a dream vacation that he and his wife, Patrice, planned for the spring, a monthlong backpacking trip across Italy. He decided to see urologist Brian Canterbury, MD, at Cleveland Clinic Akron General.

At the time, Bob was being treated for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, a common condition in men in their mid-50s. With BPH, the urinary stream may become weak, which can lead to infection, bladder stones and reduced kidney function. Because Bob’s medication no longer worked for him, Dr. Canterbury recommended a relatively new, minimally invasive surgical approach called water jet ablation, also known as Aquablation®, a technology using high-pressure saline to remove tissue that blocks normal flow.

“Men don’t like to talk about stuff below the belt, but depending on genetics, as they get into their 50s, their prostates grow at different rates,” Dr. Canterbury says. “BPH, as the name suggests, is a benign condition, not cancer. It leads to urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, getting up at night multiple times. This continues to progress, and some men need a catheter.”

Bob had seen Dr. Canterbury for an earlier problem with kidney stones, and “we hit it off,” he says. “He has a great sense of humor and is also upfront. He doesn’t sugarcoat things. This time, we sat down and had a good conversation. He was very down-to-earth and explained all the pros and cons of my options. Water jet ablation was very appealing to me in the sense that I wouldn’t spend more than a night in the hospital and my recovery would be quicker.”

In January 2023, Bob had presurgical testing. “The reason for frequent urination is a blockage that prevents the bladder from emptying completely,” Dr. Canterbury says. “In the presurgical workup, we test the bladder and use a scope to look at the prostate anatomy. We measure it with ultrasound. We also perform a test to measure the urine flow rate, which we check again after surgery, and we document symptoms to get a baseline score.”

On Feb. 27, 2023, Bob became one of the first patients at Cleveland Clinic to have water jet ablation. “There are lots of different surgical modalities, but this approach is newer,” Dr. Canterbury says. “Classic transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which is what everything is compared to, has a reoperation rate of about 15% within five to 10 years. With this procedure, the reoperation rate is considerably better, less than 10%. With TURP, it may take up to two hours for the procedure. Water jet ablation allows a much quicker resection, about seven minutes. There is almost no risk of sexual dysfunction afterward, and the procedure can preserve ejaculatory and sexual function.”

Almost any man with an enlarged prostate is a good candidate for water jet ablation, Dr. Canterbury says. “Most men would rather try medication first, but they don’t have to.”

Dr. Canterbury and colleague Dennis Bentley, MD, have performed over 100 water jet ablation procedures at Cleveland Clinic Akron General since early 2023. “What sets us apart is we have a dedicated nursing and anesthesia team, operating room and staff,” Dr. Canterbury says. “Most patients go home the next day without catheters. We are very proud of our outcomes.” 

Robert Price and his wife Patrice.

In May 2023, Bob and Patrice flew to Rome to start their vacation. Bob says he initially felt some mild discomfort, but “as time went on, it got better, and I was getting up only once at night. The trip was awesome. It was our first time to Italy, and we visited Sicily, where my wife’s father is from, and seven other cities. We also saw Pompeii.” In a few months, he was back to normal, he says.

Bob, a software architect manager and former fire department medic, says he enjoys helping people and that his advice to other men with BPH is simple: “Don’t wait! Go get it checked out! Doctors are your friends, and I can’t speak highly enough of Dr. Canterbury. He really does care.”

Related Institutes: Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute
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