What to do about an enlarged prostate
According to Reviews in Urology benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous growth of tissue on the prostate a gland that surrounds the urethra in adult men. As a man grows older the prostate tends to increase in size - and while some men don't develop any bothersome symptoms others experience difficulties with urination.
If you're experiencing issues like urgency and incomplete bladder voiding and they are severe you may need to ask your doctor what to do about an enlarged prostate.
How common is BPH?
University of Maryland Medical Center notes that BPH seldom manifests in men under 40 but that half of men will develop it by age 60 and that a man's risk continues to increase with age. Fortunately there are many treatment options for BPH and they are now safer and more effective than ever.
The American Urological Association (AUA) Symptom Index and the International Prostate Symptom Score are two established self-diagnostic tests you can use to determine the severity of your symptoms. The short questionnaires ask how often you have experienced urinary symptoms in the last month and how you feel about your quality of life. The score along with your preferences and the recommendations of your urologist can help guide your ideal treatment.
Should I take medications for BPH?
There are a number of medications available to treat BPH and the AUA's Urology Care Foundation suggests using several medications together to manage BPH. Different classes of medications such as alpha blockers (which reduce symptoms of BPH) and antimuscarinics (which relax the bladder muscles) can be more effective in concert than when taken individually.
What surgical options do I have?
When the prostate has grown to the point that it is severely obstructing the urethra and is unlikely to respond to medications it's time to consider one of the many available procedures. The AUA's clinical recommendations address these treatments in great detail including the benefits and potential complications. They all involve destroying prostate tissue through cutting burning or lasering. Your urologist can discuss these procedures with you and with regard to your personal situation choose the best option.
A new minimally invasive procedure the Urolift is offered at Reid's Urological Care practice. It employs implants that are inserted through the urethra. These are used to pin back the prostate tissue opening the urethra and restoring function. Because the prostate is left intact the potential for complications of other surgical procedures like uncontrollable bleeding infection and loss of function is significantly reduced. Following the procedure you typically return home the same day fully capable of resuming your normal activities.
If you or someone you love is wondering what to do about an enlarged prostate it's important to seek competent medical advice. Urologists who are up to date with new treatments can provide you with the best options for your individual condition.
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