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Arroyo leading the way in Aquablation Therapy

Arroyo Grande Community Hospital leading the way in Aquablation therapy, the cutting-edge treatment option for men who have issues due to enlarged prostate

Dr. Michael AvalloneEarlier this year, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital began offering a cutting edge, minimally invasive treatment aimed at improving the daily lives of men with urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate.

Aquablation therapy to treat BPH, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, arrived at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in 2023, and surgeons have been busy mastering the intricacies of the procedure at the facility.

Dr. Michael Avallone has spearheaded the delivery of the treatment on the Central Coast, performing Aquablation at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. 

“We began performing Aquablation in July and patients have been doing well,” Avallone says. “I anticipate growth in the volume of these procedures going into 2024.”

How is Aquablation performed?

The minimally invasive procedure uses a heat-free waterjet to remove prostate tissue to relieve the symptoms of a BPH. Aquablation is the only procedure that offers real-time, multi-dimensional imaging of the prostate combined with surgical robotics for the safe removal of tissue, reducing the risk of irreversible complications.

The procedure is completed in a hospital and is done under anesthesia, typically taking less than an hour. It involves an overnight hospital stay.

Urologic surgeons, like Dr. Avallone, create a surgical map of the prostate then use the robotically-controlled, heat-free waterjet to remove the prostate tissue previously outlined on the map.

Ultrasound imaging provides surgeons with the ability to see the entire prostate in real time, allowing the surgeon to target the prostate tissue that needs to be removed.

“Real-time use of ultrasound provides assurance that the appropriate amount of prostate is removed during the procedure to relieve urinary symptoms but also allows for precision to decrease risk of sexual dysfunction,” Avallone says.

What exactly is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate has grown to be larger than normal and can cause significant health problems if left untreated.

The symptoms of BPH include a slower stream when urinating, urinary urgency and frequency, waking up multiple times at night to urinate and the sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder. Those who have symptoms of BPH may be a candidate for Aquablation therapy. 

“Ideal candidates for Aquablation are men with bothersome urinary symptoms that are not controlled on BPH medications, especially those who prioritize maintaining sexual function following the procedure,” Avallone says. “Evaluation for the procedure is performed with a urology consultation at which point further testing can be arranged which typically involves evaluating the urinary tract with a small endoscope and measuring the size of the prostate with an imaging study.”

What are the benefits of Aquablation?

There are a number of treatment options for BPH ranging from medications to surgical procedures that help provide relief. 

However, many options force men to compromise in some way. They must choose between getting only limited symptom relief, a long recovery time, or issues with sexual function.

Following trials, Aquablation therapy was found to have very low rates of irreversible complications like incontinence, ejaculatory dysfunction or erectile dysfunction.

“We are excited to offer this new surgical procedure at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital to treat men on the Central Coast who experience urinary symptoms due to BPH,” Avallone said.

For more information on Aquablation therapy, visit