Physician brings non-surgical outpatient prostate procedure to McLaren Northern Michigan, providing quicker recovery times.

Featured in the 2021 issue of MyNorth Medical Insider.

When Bryan Shumaker, M.D., retired from a large urology practice downstate in 2011, he moved Up North to his Boyne-area vacation home. In addition to practicing urology, Shumaker was an astronomy professor and looking forward to his home’s proximity to the nearby Headlands International Day Park. He didn’t intend to continue his urology practice in Northern Michigan. However, after visiting McLaren Hospital, he realized there was an opportunity to bring his leading-edge urology expertise to serve the greater Petoskey community. Shumaker stepped back in, and with him came the UroLift, a life-changing prostate procedure that has increased the quality of life for the countless men who visit McLaren for prostate treatment.

Most men will experience an enlarged prostate in their lifetime, and with it, significant urinary discomfort. Patients with enlarged prostates typically begin treatment with medication. As the prostate grows, so does the dosage needed to curb symptoms, which comes with side effects such as changes in blood pressure and dizziness. Surgery is typically the next best option for relief.

For many years, the transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) has been the gold standard of prostate care. TURP is a surgical procedure that requires a one- to two-day hospital stay, a catheter for 24 to 48 hours and four to six weeks away from strenuous activity. The UroLift offers a non-surgical, outpatient alternative to TURP that allows patients to return to physical activity sooner.

The UroLift procedure takes less than an hour, and patients return home the same day without a catheter. Shumaker compared the procedure to a basic injection—minimally invasive and completed with local anesthetic.

“I like the UroLift because it’s all outpatient, and people do amazingly well with it,” Shumaker says. “Satisfaction rates with the procedure are extremely high.”

After UroLift, patients can expect some immediate improvements, two to three weeks of mild urinary urgency and consistent positive progress in the weeks and months following the procedure.

“Our bladders are muscles,” Shumaker says. “When we open the urinary tract up, it takes time for the bladder to rebuild strength and transition from emptying in frequent small amounts to less frequent larger amounts.”

Since McLaren Northern Michigan serves patients from across the North, a minimally invasive procedure with little follow-up sets Shumaker at ease. “I can send patients home without worrying about close post-op observation, which is very important in rural medicine,” he says.

Find this and more articles about health and fitness in Northern Michigan in the free, digital edition of MyNorth’s 2021 Medical Insider below; or get Medical Insider in print each year for free when you subscribe to Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, delivered to your door each month.