Is Aquablation right for you? See one patient’s life changing experience.
February 06, 2024

Is Aquablation right for you? See one patient’s life changing experience.

Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery

Joe Orzo lived with an enlarged prostate for many years. But when it started to negatively impact his active lifestyle, he turned to a Aquablation, a minimally invasive procedure for treating this common condition.

Categories:   Men's Health Patient Journey Urology

Share This Post:

If you meet Joe Orzo, you’ll quickly realize that he loves his life. He’s a gregarious “people person” who’s passionate about cars, his family and his grandchildren. He who loves traveling with his wife and socializing with friends.

Thanks to a procedure called Aquablation, performed at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery, now Joe continues to enjoy the life he loves to the fullest.

Joe -- who jokes he’s “just north of 65, and that’s all I’m going to tell you about my age” – collects motorcycles and sports cars. The self-described car fanatic has bought and sold many over the years: Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, Nissan 300ZXs, among others. Currently, he drives a Corvette – the fifth he’s owned in his lifetime.

Joe is almost always on the go: lunching with friends, attending his two grandsons’ soccer and basketball games, hanging out with friends over a few beers, boating on the lake, or trying new restaurants, “mostly Italian ones.”

But a few years ago, an ongoing health condition started to restrict Joe’s ability to stay as active as he’d like. Joe was diagnosed decades ago with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) – more commonly known as an enlarged prostate. Initially, the symptoms were manageable.

“The main symptom was frequent urination,” Joe said. “But in recent years, it started getting out of hand. I’d go somewhere, and I’d always be running to the bathroom.”

A Common Condition

BPH is a common condition that affects many men as they get older. In the U.S., about 70% of men 60–69 years of age and 80% of those 70 years of age or older are affected by BPH.1

When a prostate is larger than normal, it narrows the urethra, making it difficult to fully empty the bladder, and putting pressure on the bladder, creating the sensation of an urgent need to urinate. If left untreated, BPH may cause other bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems to develop.2

Over the years, Joe considered the available surgical treatments for enlarged prostate. Until recently, the primary procedure was transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP. The potential side effects of this traditional BPH surgery -- incontinence, erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory dysfunction3 -- were scary.4 Joe decided he’d rather endure the symptoms then risk the treatment’s potential side effects.

Joe’s fears were understandable, according to Dr. Michael B. Gross, a urologist on the medical staff of Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery (THCDS) in Plano, Texas.

“TURP is effective for symptom relief but carries a higher risk for side effects,” said Dr. Gross. “The prostate is located underneath the bladder and wraps around the urethra, in proximity to other important body parts, including the ejaculatory ducts (which emit semen during sexual intercourse) and the sphincter muscles (which control elimination). The prostate gland plays a role in sexual function. In a significant number of cases, patients undergoing TURP may experience retrograde ejaculation. Incontinence is also a possible side effect.5

Turning Point

Joe started to reconsider surgery about four years ago, when a bout with urine retention sent him to the ER. Then it happened again in July.

“The pain was so bad, that was the trigger to look for something to try,” he said.

At the same time, Joe’s other enlarged prostate symptoms had worsened.

“The frequent urination was getting pretty bad,” he said. “It got to the point that, if I was driving somewhere more than a few miles away, I’d have to pull over and find a tree.”

A family member told Joe about a new, minimally invasive procedure called Aquablation. Joe asked his urologist, Dr. Gross, about it.

Dr. Gross explained that Aquablation has a much lower chance of procedure-related side effects, compared to other surgical options. With Aquablation, the surgeon has a multi-dimensional view of the prostate. Assisted by robotic technology, the surgeon uses a jet of room temperature saline water to remove the prostate tissue while maintaining low rates of irreversible complications.6

“Aquablation is very precise, because we can plot out exactly what tissue we want to remove,” said Dr. Gross. “The surgeon operates an instrument that goes through the urethra, as well as a transrectal ultrasound probe that provides an image of the prostate. Using an ultrasound screen, the surgeon can precisely draw out the area to remove.”

Joe decided to proceed with Aquablation, but still had a measure of trepidation. He’d never had surgery before in his life.

“I knew they would be putting me under and cutting a sensitive part,” he said.

‘Pleasantly Surprised’

In 2023, Joe had Aquablation surgery, performed by Dr. Gross at THCDS.
The procedure was performed under general anesthesia. The surgery typically takes less than an hour. Most patients stay one night in the hospital.

Once the catheter is removed, most patients can urinate on their own, but may experience frequency and urgency with urination for the first few days.

Joe had heard horror stories from friends who’d had the TURP procedure and experienced a lot of pain, especially when urinating the first few times after the surgery. However, medication minimized the pain he experienced. Overall, Joe says he was pleasantly surprised.

“I expected to be in a lot of pain, but I really wasn’t in any pain,” he said. “The doctors give you a catheter, and the drugs numb everything up, so you don’t feel anything. I expected this nightmare stuff after the surgery. I’m really happy with the way everything went.”

Now, Joe says he’s almost 100% – with none of the side effects that led him to put off the surgery. He no longer needs to run to the bathroom often. He’s back to enjoying all the things he loves – watching his grandkids’ games, driving around in his Corvette, and traveling with his wife – without the frequent dashes to the men’s room.

“Guys don’t like to talk about their enlarged prostates,” he said. “But I’m telling my friends: this new procedure truly works.”


To read more about Aquablation surgery click here.

THCDS Services

Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery in Plano, Texas is proud to offer Aquablation performed with the AquaBeam Robotic System developed by PROCEPT BioRobotics. Aquablation is one of many urologic procedures offered at THCDS. We offer advanced treatments for urologic diseases and conditions, including prostate issues, renal (kidney) surgery, urinary issues and bladder disorders. Patients should follow these basic guidelines to prepare for surgery.

For many men, Aquablation is a great surgical option to get their lives back and feel like themselves again. Call today learn more about the urologists on the medical staff at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery in Plano.


[1] “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Male Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: Epidemiology and Risk Factors.” Current Bladder Dysfunction Report, 2010.


[3]  See above citation.

[4] Erectile and ejaculatory functions changes following bipolar versus monopolar transurethral resection of the prostate: a prospective randomized study. 2018.

[5] Erectile and ejaculatory functions changes following bipolar versus monopolar transurethral resection of the prostate: a prospective randomized study. 2018.