Enlarged Prostate Treatment

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Enlarged Prostate Treatment

Enlarged Prostate Surgery for BPH Treatment With GreenLight Laser PVP

Surgery for the treatment of an enlarged prostate (BPH) using the GreenLight laser for photoselective vaporization. Watch Dr. Daniel Williams, Associate Prof…

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Enlarged Prostate Treatment

The prostate is a male reproductive gland that produces the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the body.

An enlarged prostate means the gland has grown bigger. Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. As the gland grows, it can press on the urethra and cause urination and bladder problems.

An enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer.

The actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown. Factors linked to aging and the testicles themselves may play a role in the growth of the gland. Men who have had their testicles removed at a young age (for example, as a result of testicular cancer) do not develop BPH.

Similarly, if the testicles are removed after a man develops BPH, the prostate begins to shrink in size.

Some facts about prostate enlargement:

  •     The likelihood of developing an enlarged prostate increases with age.
  •     BPH is so common that it has been said all men will have an enlarged prostate if they live long enough.
  •     A small amount of prostate enlargement is present in many men over age 40 and more than 90% of men over age 80.
  •     No risk factors have been identified other than having normally functioning testicles

Less than half of all men with BPH have symptoms of the disease, which include:

  •     Dribbling at the end of urinating
  •     Inability to urinate (urinary retention)
  •     Incomplete emptying of your bladder
  •     Incontinence
  •     Needing to urinate two or more times per night
  •     Pain with urination or bloody urine (these may indicate infection)
  •     Slowed or delayed start of the urinary stream
  •     Straining to urinate
  •     Strong and sudden urge to urinate
  •     Weak urine stream

The choice of a treatment is based on the severity of your symptoms, the extent to which they affect your daily life, and the presence of any other medical conditions. Treatment options include “watchful waiting,” lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.

If you are over 60, you are more likely to have symptoms. But many men with an enlarged prostate have only minor symptoms. Self-care steps are often enough to make you feel better.

If you have BPH, you should have a yearly exam to monitor the progression of your symptoms and determine if any changes in treatment are necessary.


For mild symptoms:

  •     Urinate when you first get the urge. Also, go to the bathroom when you have the chance, even if you don’t feel a need to urinate.
  •     Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially after dinner.
  •     Don’t drink a lot of fluid all at once. Spread out fluids throughout the day. Avoid drinking fluids within 2 hours of bedtime.
  •     Try NOT to take over-the-counter cold and sinus medications that contain decongestants or antihistamines. These medications can increase BPH symptoms.
  •     Keep warm and exercise regularly. Cold weather and lack of physical activity may worsen symptoms.
  •     Learn and perform Kegel exercises (pelvic strengthening exercises).
  •    Reduce stress. Nervousness and tension can lead to more frequent urination.


  • Alpha 1-blockers (doxazosin, prazosin, tamsulosin, terazosin, and alfuzosin) are a class of medications also used to treat high blood pressure. These medications relax the muscles of the bladder neck and prostate. This allows easier   urination. Most people treated with alpha 1-blocker medication find that it helps their symptoms.
  • Finasteride and dutasteride lower levels of hormones produced by the prostate, reduce the size of the prostate gland, increase urine flow rate, and decrease symptoms of BPH. It may take 3 to 6 months before you notice much improvement in your symptoms. Potential side effects related to the use of finasteride and dutasteride include decreased sex drive and impotence.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), which may accompany BPH. Some men note relief of their BPH symptoms after a course of antibiotics.


Prostate surgery may be recommended if you have:

  •     Incontinence
  •     Recurrent blood in the urine
  •     Inability to fully empty the bladder (urinary retention)
  •     Recurrent urinary tract infections
  •     Kidney failure
  •     Bladder stones

The choice of a specific surgical procedure is usually based on the severity of your symptoms and the size and shape of your prostate gland.

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): This is the most common and most proven surgical treatment for BPH. TURP is performed by inserting a scope through the penis and removing the prostate piece by piece.
  • Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP): This procedure is similar to TURP, but is usually performed in men who have a smaller prostate. It is usually performed without the need for a hospital stay. Like TURP, a scope is inserted through the penis until the prostate is reached. Then, rather than removing the prostate, a small incision is made in the prostate tissue to enlarge the opening of the urethra and bladder outlet.
  • Simple prostatectomy: An open prostatectomy is usually performed using general or spinal anesthesia. An incision is made through the abdomen or perineum (the area behind the scrotum). Only the inner part of the prostate gland is removed. The outer portion is left behind. This is a lengthy procedure, and it usually requires a hospital stay of 5 to 10 days.

Most men who have prostate surgery have improvement in urine flow rates and symptoms. See prostate removal for a description of complications.

Other, less-invasive procedures are available. These use different forms of heat to destroy prostate tissue. None have been proven to be better than TURP. Patients who receive these less-invasive procedures are more likely to need surgery again after 5 or 10 years. However, these procedures may be a choice for:

  •     Younger men (many of the less-invasive procedures carry a lower risk for impotence and incontinence than TURP, although the risk with TURP is not very high)
  •     Elderly patients
  •     Patients with severe medical conditions, including uncontrolled diabetes, cirrhosis, alcoholism, psychosis, and serious lung, kidney, or heart disease
  •     Men who are taking blood-thinning drugs

Discover Your Risk for Prostate Cancer now!

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Fact: Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

– About 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed
– About 29,480 men will die of prostate cancer

About 1 man in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Don’t be caught off guard. Know your risk now.

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He most recently had surgery for an enlarged prostate. His doctor says the surgery is not unusual and does not indicate a more serious condition. Copyright Associated Press, Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may

Neil H. Baum
Neil H. Baum is a urologist who specializes in erectile dysfunction (impotence), treatment of the enlarged prostate gland, and management

Prostatic stent
A prostatic stent is a stent used to keep open the male urethra and allow the com/health/enlarged-prostate-bph/BP99999/PAGE BP00015


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