BPH/Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Prostate gland enlargement is a common condition as men get older. Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic hypertrophy, prostate gland enlargement can cause bothersome urinary symptoms. Untreated prostate gland enlargement can block the flow of urine out of the bladder and can cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems. Prostate gland enlargement symptoms include: weak stream, difficulty starting the stream, intermittent stream, urinary frequency or urgency, getting up at night to urinate, straining to urinate and inability to empty the bladder. Cystoscopy, urodynamics, blood or urine tests may be necessary to accurately diagnose prostate enlargement as the source of urinary symptoms. Medications are the most common treatment for moderate symptoms of prostate enlargement. Examples of prostate medicines include Flomax, Uroxatral and Avodart. Some medications target the muscles in the bladder or prostate while others may shrink the prostate gland. Some patients require a combination of medications to reduce their symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if medication isn't effective or if you have severe symptoms. There are several types of surgery for an enlarged prostate. They all open the urethra by treating the enlarged prostate tissue that blocks the flow of urine. The decision about which type of surgery may be an option is based on a number of factors, including the size of your prostate and the severity of your symptoms. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the most traditional surgical approach, but there are also laser surgeries and office-based procedures available that provide excellent results.