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Local Man Gets “A Second Life” Through Aquablation Procedure

Local Man Gets “A Second Life” Through Aquablation Procedure

Union City resident Al Bona has never liked going to the doctor. In fact, he had never been admitted to a hospital, until last September that is. After his recent health scare from an enlarged prostate, he now calls his urologist, Mark Saleh, MD, his friend and describes Washington Hospital Healthcare System (WHHS) as “awesome!”

It all started when Al and his wife noticed he was urinating more often than usual and he had lost his appetite. After a couple of weeks, it got to the alarming point where he could not pass urine at all. At Washington Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) Al underwent tests and imaging that showed he was suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to an enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). He was hospitalized for testing and needed urinary catheterization to empty his bladder and treat the problem temporarily until prostate surgery could be performed.

“When I arrived at the ED I felt physically bad, very depressed, and like I was a hopeless case,” explained Al. “But everyone there was great. They ran all the necessary tests and called in the specialist, Dr. Saleh, for me. The awesome nurses of the sixth floor really supported me, so I knew I was in a safe place, receiving the help and care I needed.”

BPH is a common condition that affects one in two men over the age of 50, and the incidence increases every decade of life. Symptoms can be physically and emotionally devastating, and when left untreated, BPH can lead to irreversible health problems. Traditionally, when medications are not effective, a surgery called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is performed, but not all men are candidates and oftentimes it comes with life-changing side effects.

Al chose a new groundbreaking procedure called Aquablation, which has been proven in clinical studies to result in improved symptom relief and lower rates of complication than TURP. A few months after his initial ED visit, Al underwent the one-hour procedure followed by an overnight hospital stay in late September, shortly after WHHS became one of the few medical facilities in the area to introduce the advanced technology.

In addition to an apprehension to doctors and hospitals before his BPH ordeal, Al had a real fear of undergoing anesthesia that was necessary for his Aquablation procedure. “I have heard stories of people not waking up after surgery, but the wonderful doctors and nurses at WHHS put me at ease and treated me with respect,” he recalled. “After my Aquablation surgery I had no pain at all and now I am completely normal. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life!”

Al returned to his work as a network performance engineer for a wireless communications company shortly after his procedure. He was also able to get back to babysitting his grandchildren and hobbies like gardening and doing household projects, like putting up Christmas lights in time for the holidays. His message to other local men who may be experiencing symptoms from BPH is don’t delay seeing a urologist. Get tested so you can receive treatment and get your life back to normal.

For more information on Aquablation, attend a free online seminar presented by Dr. Saleh, “Aquablation: A Transformative BPH Treatment,” on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 12 p.m. To watch it on Facebook, sign in to your account then go to Or you can watch it without an account at If you cannot watch it live, the seminar will be available the following day on YouTube.