The Enlarged Prostate
Jeff Lumerman, M.D., FACS
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH?
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy is part of the natural growth of the prostate gland. It is not cancerous but has many troublesome symptoms, which can adversely affect a man’s lifestyle and possibly cause health concerns. The prostate gland surrounds the male urethra which is the tube one voids through. As the prostate tissue grows it can compress the urethra and cause obstructive and irritative symptoms. By age 50, half of all men are affected to some degree.
What causes BPH?
BPH is directly attributed to the prostate’s response to testosterone. As men age, the prostate increases in size as a result of its long term contact with testosterone.
What are the symptoms?
- 1. Frequent need to void.
- 2. Urgency - the sensation of a sudden need to void without the typical warning signs that you may need to urinate soon.
- 3. Slow steam.
- 4. Nocturia – waking at night to void.
- 5. Hesitency - difficulty starting the stream.
- 6. Incontinence - urinary leakage.
- 7. Incomplete emptying - retaining urine in the bladder even after voiding.
How is BPH diagnosed?
A Urologist can help with the diagnosis, as well as give you a complete physical evaluation including a prostate exam, a PSA blood test, and urine tests. You may be asked to perform a urinary flow test to evaluate the strength of the stream. Other tests will be offered for more involved cases.
How is it treated?
There are many treatments which are tailored to your specific symptoms.
2) There are various medications that shrink and relax the prostate. Ask your doctor about these alternatives.
3) Minimally invasive prostate procedures such as microwave therapy.
4) Newer technology such as laser prostatectomy.
BPH can be an extremely bothersome condition that can adversely affect an individual’s quality of life, disrupt sleep and cause embarrassing situations.