BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Prostatic Urethral Lift


The prostatic urethral lift procedure (e.g., UroLift®) involves the insertion of one or more permanent implants into the prostate, which retract prostatic tissue and maintain an expanded urethral lumen. This procedure can be done with minimal sedation and is often performed in the office setting.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common disorder among older men that results from hyperplastic nodules in the periurethral or transitional zone of the prostate. The normal prostate size for an adult male is 15cc to 30cc (one half ounce to one ounce). BPH prevalence increases with age and is present in more than 80% of men aged 70 to 79. The clinical manifestations of BPH include increased urinary frequency, urgency, nocturia, hesitancy, and weak stream. The urinary tract symptoms often progress with worsening hypertrophy and may lead to acute urinary retention, incontinence, renal insufficiency, and/or urinary tract infection.

Evaluation and management of BPH includes evaluation for other causes of lower urinary tract dysfunction (e.g., prostate cancer). Symptom severity determines the therapeutic approach. Therapies available include oral medications, surgical ablative procedures, or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).





Two scores are widely used to evaluate BPH-related symptoms: the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI); and the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). The AUASI is a self-administered seven-item questionnaire assessing the severity of various urinary symptoms. Total AUASI scores range from 0 to 35, with overall severity categorized as mild (≤7), moderate (8-19), or severe (20-35). The IPSS incorporates questions from the AUASI and a quality-of-life question or a “Bother score.”


American Urological Association. (2018). Benign prostatic hyperplasia: surgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia/lower urinary tract symptoms (2018, amended 2019, 2020).Retrieved July 20, 2021 from  

BlueCross BlueShield Association. Evidence Positioning System. (6:2021). Prostatic urethral lift (7.01.151). Retrieved July 20, 2021 from (43 articles and/or guidelines reviewed)

Gratzke, C., Barber, N., Speakman, M., Berges, R., Weterauer, U., Greene, D., et al. (2017). Prostatic urethral lift vs transurethral resectin of the prostate: 2-year resuls of the BPH6 prospective, multicentre, randomized study. BJU International, 119 (5), 767-775. (Level 2 evidence)

Jing, J., Wu, Y., Du, M., Zhang, N., Wang, M., Xu, B., et al. (2020). Urethral lift as a safe and effective procedure for prostatic hyplasia population: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers In Surgery, doi: 10.3389/fsurg.2020.598728. (Level 1 evidence)

McNicholas, T. A. (2016). Benign prostatic hyperplasia and new treatment options – a critical appraisal of the UroLift system. Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, 9, 115-123. (Level 2 evidence)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2014, January). Insertion of prostatic urethral lift implants to treat lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Retrieved July 7, 2017 from

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2015, September). UroLift for treating lower urinary tract symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Retrieved October 23, 2015 from   

Neotract. (2020, February). UroLift® Systems UL400 instructions for use. Retrieved July 20, 2021 from

Perera, M., Roberts, M. J., Doi, S. A. & Bolton, D. (2015). Prostatic urethral lift improves urinary symptoms and flow while preserving sexual function for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a systemic review and meta-analysis. European Urology, 67 (4), 704-713. Abstract retrieved September 28, 2016 from PubMed database.

Pushkaran, A., Stainer, V., Muir, G., & Shergill, I. (2017). Urolift - minimally invasive surgical BPH management. Expert Review of Medical Devices, 14 (3), 223-228. Abstract retrieved January 5, 2018 from PubMed database.

Roehrborn, C. G., Barkin, J., Gange, S. N., Shore, N. D., Giddens, J. L., Bolton, D.M., et al. (2017). Five year results of the prospective randomized controlled prostatic urethral L.I.F.T. study. Canadian Journal of Urology, 24 (3), 8802-8813. (Level 2 evidence)

Rukstalis, D., Rashid, P., Bogache, W., Tutrone, R., Barkin, J., Chin, P., et al. (2016). 24-month durability after crossover to the prostatic urethral lift from randomized, blinded sham. BJU International, 118 (3), 14-22. (Level 2 evidence)

Sánchez-Gómez, L. M., Polo-deSantos, M., Gómez-Sancha, F., & Luengo-Matos, S. (2015). Efficacy and safety of the UroLift® system for the treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia symptoms: systematic review. Actas Urologicas Espanolas, 39 (5), 311-319. Abstract retrieved September 28, 2016 from PubMed database.

Tanneru, K., Gautam, S., Norez, D., Kumar, J., Alam, M.U., Koocheckpour, S., et al. (2020). Meta-analysis and systematic review of intermediate-term follow-up of prostatic uretheral lift for benign prostatic hyperplasia. International Urology and Nephrology, 52 (6), 999-1008. Abstract retrieved July 21, 2021 from PubMed database.

U. S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, December). Center for Devices and Radiologic Health. 510(k) Premarket Notification Database. K173087 (UroLift®). Retrieved February 19, 2019 from

Winifred S. Hayes, Inc. Health Technology Assessment. (2020, June). Prostatic Urethral Lift (UroLift System) for treatment of symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Retrieved February 25, 2020 from (33 articles and/or guidelines reviewed) 




Policies included in the Medical Policy Manual are not intended to certify coverage availability. They are medical determinations about a particular technology, service, drug, etc. While a policy or technology may be medically necessary, it could be excluded in a member's benefit plan. Please check with the appropriate claims department to determine if the service in question is a covered service under a particular benefit plan. Use of the Medical Policy Manual is not intended to replace independent medical judgment for treatment of individuals. The content on this Web site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice in any way. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding a medical condition or treatment.

This document has been classified as public information.