Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, is a common, benign (not cancerous) condition in older men in which the prostate gland enlarges. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that produces semen, the fluid that transports sperm. Located below the bladder and surrounding the urethra (the tube carrying urine out of the body), an enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra and cause difficulty with urination.
- As many as 50% of men experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate by age 60, and 90% of men will report symptoms by age 85.
Source: National Association for Continence
SYMPTOMS OF AN ENLARGED PROSTATE
While some men with an enlarged prostate/BPH experience no symptoms, many others may experience a variety of urinary symptoms that can range from mild and barely noticeable to severe and life-altering.
Some of the more common symptoms men with BPH experience include:
- Recurring, sudden need to urinate
- Increasingly frequent urination, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine stream
- Difficulty starting urination
- Urine leakage (urinary incontinence)
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
DIAGNOSING ENLARGED PROSTATE
The first step to diagnosing BPH is to see a urologist experienced in helping me with enlarged prostate. Your doctor will take a complete medical history and physical exam as well as perform a digital rectal exam (DRE). Your urologist may order a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. Elevated levels of PSA can indicate BPH, prostatitis (prostate inflammation) or prostate cancer. Through this comprehensive evaluation, your urologist will determine whether your urinary symptoms are indeed caused by BPH and next steps to treating your urinary symptoms.
Additional tests to make the most accurate diagnosis may include:
- Uroflow: Measures the flow and force of your urine stream and is often performed in patients who have an obstruction or other problems with urination
- Bladder Ultrasound (post void residual): A non-invasive ultrasound test that assesses the ability of the bladder to empty
- Cystoscopy: A small telescope is used to look inside the bladder to assess your internal prostate size and your bladder for stones, tumors, and signs of obstruction or other abnormalities that may cause your symptoms
- Urodynamics: A procedure which helps determine whether a blockage of the prostate is the cause of your urinary symptoms
- Transrectal ultrasound: Ultrasound to assess prostate size. This test is also useful to assess bladder function.
Treatment for BPH
Your urologist will work with you to determine the best treatment option. Minimally invasive treatments for BPH include:
- The Rezūm System
- The UroLift® System
- Laser Vaporization of the Prostate (GreenLight™ Laser Therapy)
- PlasmaButton™ Vaporization
- Radio Frequency (RF) Therapy
- Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT), or Cooled ThermoTherapy
Rest assured that when BPH affects your life, the specialists at Urological Consultants have the experience and the results that men want and need to restore quality of life and alleviate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. From more conservative, non-surgical measures to innovative minimally invasive procedures, our urologists provide the most advanced care for men living with enlarged prostate.