UH Innovations in Urology - Spring 2018
IRINA JAEGER, MD
Division Chief, Urology, UH Ahuja Medical Center; Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
As a general urologist, Irina Jaeger, MD, sees lots of patients with common urinary complaints, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and overactive bladder. While her patients’ conditions are commonplace, the treatments she offers are cutting edge. One such therapy is the UroLift® System, a minimally-invasive treatment for BPH. Dr. Jaeger is the only urologist at University Hospitals – and one of a handful in northeast Ohio – who offer the procedure.
When Dr. Jaeger joined University Hospitals’ Urology Institute in April 2016, it was like coming home. She completed her residency in general surgery in 2004 and her residency in urology in 2009, both at University Hospitals. “My colleagues are amazing,” says Dr. Jaeger. “Many of them trained me, so it’s great to have them as a support system. They always have my back.”
Dr. Jaeger was named Division Chief of Urology at UH Ahuja Medical Center in July 2017. She continues to see patients on Cleveland’s eastside, primarily at the UH Brainard Medical Building. Her specialties include BPH, stone disease and female urology. Last spring, she trained on the UroLift System to treat BPH at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Boston, then received further training from company representatives in Cleveland.
“Traditionally with BPH, we remove the tissue that causes the obstruction,” says Dr. Jaeger. “The UroLift is novel because instead of physically removing the tissue, which makes the procedure more invasive, we pin it to the sides of the prostate capsule. It’s like opening a curtain.” The treatment is indicated for patients with prostate volumes up to 80 grams who don’t have an obstructive or protruding median lobe of the prostate.
The outpatient procedure takes approximately 15 minutes and requires no anesthesia or hospital stay. During the procedure, tiny polypropylene implants are placed through a delivery device, which is guided through the obstructed urethra to access the enlarged prostate. The implants are then attached to the outside of the prostate capsule using bolsters, thereby relieving compression on the urethra and allowing urine to flow normally again.
In her first six months offering the innovative treatment, Dr. Jaeger has performed about 15 UroLift procedures. Her first patient was a retired schoolteacher who struggled with BPH for years, but was reluctant to undergo an invasive procedure. “The results from UroLift were instant,” says Dr. Jaeger. “This patient had not slept through the night in 15 years, and on day two after the surgery he was sleeping through the night. It has completely transformed his lifestyle!”
Dr. Jaeger also provides novel treatments to her female urology patients, including bladder Botox® for urinary urge incontinence. “Botox is a powerful toxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles when it’s locally injected,” says Dr. Jaeger. “It works well for women with wrinkles because it relaxes facial muscles. It does the same thing on the bladder.”
During the 10-minute office procedure, Dr. Jaeger numbs the patient’s bladder, then injects Botox directly into the muscle. “It relaxes the muscle, which takes away that strong urge to urinate,” says Dr. Jaeger. The Botox begins working in about 10 to 14 days and lasts for approximately six months.
Helping patients with sensitive urological issues, whether they are male or female, stems from building relationships with them. “At UH, we build a great patient base, get to know them well and make them feel very comfortable,” says Dr. Jaeger. “That’s the beauty of working in a field like urology and being a part of University Hospitals.”