Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is a very common condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. While BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer, it can greatly affect a man's quality of life.
The prostate is a male reproductive gland, about the size of a walnut that produces fluid for semen. The prostate surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. As the prostate enlarges, it presses on and blocks the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as:
- Frequent need to urinate both day and night
- Weak or slow urine stream
- A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
- Difficulty or delay in starting urination
- Urgent feeling of needing to urinate
- A urinary stream that stops and starts
BPH is a very common condition and is one of the leading reasons for men to visit a urologist. There are several treatment options available. Your urologist will discuss the option that is best for you.
- Watchful waiting: when symptoms are mild, your doctor may monitor your condition and ask you to track your symptoms before deciding if any treatment is necessary.
- Medications: alpha blockers relax the muscles around the neck of your bladder, making it easier to urinate, and alpha reductase inhibitors act to shrink the prostate.
- UroLift® System: minimally-invasive procedure lifts or holds the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra. There is no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.
- Thermotherapies: minimally-invasive treatment uses heat energy, such as microwave or radiofrequency, to destroy prostate tissue. This is performed under local anesthesia.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): TURP is the most common surgery to treat BPH. During this procedure, patients undergo general anesthesia while prostate tissue is removed.
- Laser resection: TURP may be performed with a laser in procedures called photo selective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) or holmium laser enucleation (HOLEP). Laser therapy lessens the bleeding risks of traditional TURP.
If you are ready to discuss your symptoms, call Prevea Urology. Before you visit the doctor's office, you can complete this questionnaire, designed by the American Urological Association, to determine the severity of your symptoms. We will discuss your symptoms together to decide which treatment option is best for you.