Understanding Prostate Gland Enlargement
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate gland enlargement is a common condition as men get older. Left untreated, prostate gland enlargement can block the flow of urine and cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems.
There are several effective treatments for prostate gland enlargement, including minimally invasive therapies and surgery. The best treatment option for BPH will depend on your symptoms, the size of your prostate, your general health and your preferences.
Causes and Symptoms of BPH
Men who have prostate gland enlargement have different symptoms that tend to gradually worsen over time. Some signs and symptoms of BPH include frequent or urgent need to urinate, increased frequency of urination at night or inability to completely empty the bladder. Less common signs and symptoms in BPH include urinary tract infection, inability to urinate or blood in the urine.
In many men, an enlarged prostate causes urinary symptoms. It isn’t entirely clear what causes the prostate to enlarge, but it might be linked to changes in the balance of sex hormones as men grow older. Risk factors include age family history, lifestyle, ethnic background and other health problems.
When to Seek Surgical Treatment for BPH
Even if you don’t consider your urinary symptoms urgent, it’s important to identify or rule out any underlying causes. Untreated, urinary problems might lead to obstruction of the urinary tract.
At your initial exam, your doctor will get your health background and do a physical exam that can include a digital rectal exam, neurological exam, urine test and a blood test prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Additional tests may be needed to help confirm an enlarged prostate and to rule out other conditions. These additional tests might include urinary flow test, postvoid residual volume test and 24-hour voiding diary. If your condition is more complex, your doctor may recommend other tests, including a biopsy and cystoscopy.
Surgical treatment might be needed if your symptoms are moderate to severe and medication hasn’t relieved them. A wide variety of treatments are available for enlarged prostate, including medication, minimally invasive therapies and surgery. The best treatment choice for you depends on several factors, including the size of your prostate, age and your overall health. There are several types of minimally invasive or surgical therapy:
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
- Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)
- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA)
- Open or robot-assisted prostatectomy
- Laser therapy
- Prostate lift
Prostate procedures can cause side effects such as difficulty with urination, bleeding or erectile dysfunction. They are usually temporary and will decrease with proper rest and care after BPH surgery.
Follow-up care for BPH surgical treatment
Follow-up care will depend on the specific technique used to treat your enlarged prostate. Your doctor might restrict heavy lifting and physical activity for a week if you have laser ablation but may restrict activity for several weeks for open or robot-assisted prostatectomy. Most men have a smooth recovery by following their doctor’s instructions.
If you have questions about surgical treatment for BPH, contact Dr. Larish at the best Penile Implant Surgery doctor in NYC. Call us at 212-541-6239.