No longer limited by his BPH symptoms, UroLift patient Don Lipp is back doing what he loves.
For most of his life, Don Lipp has been a man on go, and at 78 years old, it takes a lot to slow him down. An avid traveler, he and his wife, Linda, are always on the lookout for their next great adventure, whether it’s on a mountain in Colorado or a beach in the Dominican Republic.
“We work and travel,” Don says. “That’s what we’re going to do for the rest of our lives.”
Despite his love of travel and innate desire to keep busy, Don, a three-time retiree who worked for the State of Missouri, as well as the School of the Osage, was fighting a continuous battle with something he couldn’t control.
“I was approximately 55 years old when I first started having problems,” Don says of his benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) an age-associated condition of prostate gland enlargement that affects millions of men in the U.S. every year. BPH is characterized by a frequent urge to urinate, a symptom that typically increases as years pass.
When Don’s BPH started, he began taking a supplement recommended by the drugstore. A few years later, he decided to visit a urologist, who prescribed Flomax.
“And I took that basically for 25 years,” Don says. “I was getting to the point after taking a prescription for that many years that I thought, ‘Surely there must be other answers to this problem.’” Don saw five different doctors before coming to Urology Associates of Central Missouri, 100 miles from his home in Camdenton. He received a pamphlet in the mail advertising an educational meeting about UroLift,
an outpatient procedure that lifts or holds the enlarged prostate tissue, alleviating BPH symptoms. Don decided to attend.
“Linda and I went to the meeting with Dr. Clay Mechlin, listened to him talk about the procedure, went to the presentation, and it was a very mind-opening situation,” Don says. “On the drive back, I asked her to please call up there and get me an appointment”
Back on the slopes
On the day of his surgery, Don and Linda arrived for his 2 p.m. appointment. By 5 p.m., they were in the car driving home.
“It was fabulous,” Don says of the experience. “I didn’t know with an outpatient surgery that a doctor could make that much difference in your life. Dr. Mechlin did.”
It’s been one year since Don’s surgery, and life, he says, just keeps getting better. Just two months after surgery, he and Linda boarded a plane in St. Louis bound for Canada on a three-hour flight.
“It’s wonderful to get on an airplane and fly for three hours and never have to get out of your seat,” Don says. “I was always so cautious about trips like this — it was just a continuous fight all the time. I didn’t realize until that trip how much it [BPH] had controlled my life.”
A few months after the Canada trip, Don and Linda went to the Dominican Republic — two three-hour flights each way.
“I stayed in my seat the whole time, drank a cup of coffee and enjoyed the flight,” Don says. “It was wonderful. Dr. Mechlin has totally and completely changed my life.”
Even more than these trips, Don is looking forward to getting back on the slopes. He took up skiing in his mid-50s and says it’s one of the things in life that he really loves to do. But as his BPH had progressed, the idea of being on top of a mountain with no bathroom in sight was enough to keep him off the slopes. Now, there’s nothing holding him back.
“I don’t need to know where every bathroom is on the road in front of me,” he says. “After living for 25 years of that, that’s so impressive.”
With no restrictions, Don and Linda are excited for their next adventures.
“We’re planning two ski trips this winter, one to Colorado and one to Utah,” Don says. “I’d rather be skiing than anything in this world.”
Don is grateful to UACM for his newfound freedom, especially to Dr. Mechlin, who he describes as sincere, direct and honest.
“Those people are hard to find,” Don says, “and when you find one of them in the medical field, you better stick with them. He’s a professional in his category and an excellent doctor.
“I hope he has a half a dozen kids and they all turn out to be doctors,” he adds with a laugh. “That would be really good for our country.”
To learn more about the UroLift System and take the symptoms quiz, visit centralmourology.com/procedure_types/urolift. To call and schedule an appointment please call our office at 573-499-4990