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Miriam Hospital first in New England to use robot to treat enlarged prostates

Miriam Hospital in Providence is the first in New England to use a robot to treat an enlarged prostate. (WJAR)

Miriam Hospital in Providence is the first in New England to use a robot to treat an enlarged prostate.

"It was constant, constant, constant going to the bathroom,” said 58-year-old Allen Davis of North Providence.

Davis said his symptoms first emerged 17 years ago. Over the years, he said he’s had procedures and taken medication to help. But they didn’t work for long.

"The last three years have been horrendous,” said Davis. “I’d go to the supermarket, on a plane, no matter where I went, the first thing I’d do is look for the bathroom.”

Then, last year, he was referred to Dr. Gyan Pareek, the director of the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute and Kidney Stone Center at the Miriam Hospital, who used a robot to treat his enlarged prostate.

"It is the first to be done in New England,” said Pareek.

The results, Davis said, have been impressive.

"I feel great," beamed Davis.

Pareek likes to draw pictures for his patients, a way to illustrate what a man with a normal prostate looks like compared to a man with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, which is an enlarged prostate.

He explains that the kidneys bring the urine down to the bladder and then the bladder drains down the urethra and out, so the prostate is the structure it must go through. When the prostate continues to enlarge, despite treatments and medications, it becomes a quality-of-life problem.

Up until recently, these were surgical candidates.

"You'd make a big incision like this, hospitalization for four days and 25 percent chance of blood transfusion," said Pareek.

"I was in on Monday, out on Tuesday afternoon," recalled Davis of his robot-assisted surgery that was performed June 26.

"We're just basically able to make 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 little cuts and then we're able to blow the belly up with carbon dioxide, literally, and then we come in like this and we're able to do it in a sort of minimally invasive way,” Pareek said.

It is done by removing all the extra tissue. The best part, Pareek said, is that tissue won't grow back.He said it’s a permanent solution for most men.

"Everything's back to normal,” said Davis. “I feel like a new man. It's awesome."

Pareek said 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 have an enlarged prostate. That number goes up to 80 percent by the age of 80.

Treating BPH doesn’t mean men still shouldn’t be monitored for prostate cancer. They should.

So far, Miriam has performed two of the procedures, with more scheduled.

Click here to learn more.

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