Once a man reaches about age 25, his prostate begins to grow. This growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. A benign condition does not lead to prostate cancer, though the two problems can co-occur.
The causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are not entirely understood. Researchers have investigated the role of hormonal changes and cell growth in the development of this condition. If left untreated, BPH could lead to bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems.
What are the symptoms of enlarged prostate?
Although 50 to 60 percent of men with BPH may never experience any symptoms, for the remaining 30 to 40 percent, life is a misery. The symptoms of BPH include:
-Difficulty urinating (also known as urinary retention)
– Increased urinary frequency (frequent need to urinate)
-Strong urge to urinate
-Feeling like you have to go but can’t get anything out when you do urinate
-Nocturia (getting up at night to urinate)
Can BPH be cured?
Prostate growth generally continues until medical therapy is initiated. Prostate grows in different ways. One of which, the cells multiply and crowd around the urethra. The pressure they exert can squeeze it, much like you might squeeze a straw. And the other one is the growth in the middle lobe. The middle lobe of the prostate is a small, smooth gland that lies between the anterior and posterior lobes of the prostate. It extends from the base of the bladder to the neck of the urinary bladder. This can cause symptoms such as difficulty urinating and pain during urination and needs surgery.
Although there is no cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, several treatments are available that can alleviate the symptoms of the condition.
- If you have BPH, medications are often the first line of care. They work by relaxing the muscles in your bladder wall to help it empty more easily. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, including reducing caffeine intake and avoiding alcohol.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgical procedure that removes excess tissue from the prostate gland.
The procedure involves creating a small hole in the wall of the urethra and then inserting a resectoscope—a thin tube with a light and cutting edge—into this opening. Using the resectoscope, the surgeon can cut away pieces of overgrown prostate tissue and remove them through the urethra.
TURP can be performed using local anesthesia, although many patients prefer general anesthesia so they don’t feel anything during the procedure. The recovery time is usually short, but there may be some pain for several days after surgery, especially if you have had general anesthetic. Side effects of the procedure could include bleeding, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
- For patients with mild to moderate BPH and no middle lobe involvement, UroLift procedure can be done in the doctor’s office. It is a minimally-invasive procedures designed to treat BPH without surgery.
Urolift is a stapling procedure that moves the prostate out of the way so it doesn’t press against the urethra. This approach can provide rapid relief from BPH, but it cannot be done if the prostate has a middle lobe. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and most patients return to normal activities in about 3 days. The results of the procedure are not permanent; symptoms could return.
- The Rezum procedure is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia, which means you will be awake and able to walk around after the procedure. The Rezum procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete and does not require any incisions or stitches. It may take up to 30 days to be fully effective.
- Laser surgery is often the choice for patients with severe BPH or have middle lobe prostate growth. During this procedure, usually performed in a hospital, the doctor will use a laser to remove tissue from your prostate gland. The laser heats up and vaporizes the tissue, causing it to shrink and leave you with less obstruction.
For enlarged prostate treatment or consultation, visit Desert Sky Urology in Chandler, AZ. We offer a wide range of treatment options for patients with enlarged prostate.