A retired school teacher, Bill St. John of Green Bay is always on the move. He walks six miles a day, volunteers at his church and loves to travel with his wife.
“Since we’ve been retired, we’ve traveled to Europe four times,” said Bill. “And, we’ve been to Disney now more times than I can count!”
Not long ago, Bill was experiencing symptoms that made travel and everyday life difficult to enjoy. His urge to “go” was becoming more frequent. A visit to the doctor revealed he had an enlarged prostate, also known as BPH
. It’s a condition that affects nearly 40 million men in the United States, most commonly as they age. With BPH, the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged and obstructs the urinary system.
“I was getting up almost six or seven times a night to go the bathroom,” recalled Bill. “I would have trouble falling back asleep because I never felt like I could completely empty my bladder.”
Bill not only suffered from lack of sleep at night, but also anxiety during the day as he wondered where and when his next bathroom visit would take place. With the constant urge to urinate, Bill’s long walks and travel plans were constantly interrupted.
“We’d be on a flight and I’d think, ‘Boy, I hope the pilot turns the seatbelt light off soon because I have to go the bathroom,’” said Bill. “Or, I’d be on a walk and wonder where I would be able to find the next bathroom. It just wasn’t sustainable.”
Medication is often the first line of defense for treatment of BPH, but for many, like Bill, it doesn’t provide complete relief. In 2017, Bill learned of the UroLift
procedure offered by his Prevea Health urologist, Dr. Dan DeGroot
, to treat BPH. The minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure uses permanent implants to pull the enlarged prostate gland away from the urethra and allow a clear path for urine to pass through.
“It’s comforting to know that we have doctors in Green Bay who are looking to find new procedures improve patients’ lives so much,” said Bill.
Since undergoing UroLift in August 2017, Bill’s quality of life has improved drastically. He now only gets up once or twice a night to urinate if at all, and no longer has anxiety about frequent bathroom trips.
“Anyone who has this problem and is wondering if they should have this procedure should go for it,” said Bill. “It has truly been a game-changer for me.”
These days, Bill’s urge to “go” mostly pertains to travel. His next stop is Spain with his wife and their two children.