What is BPH?
BPH is non cancerous enlargement of the prostate, which is a common occurrence in older men. It is also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra. The urethra carries urine from the bladder to the penis. If the prostate grows it will press on the urethra and restrict the flow of urine out of the bladder.
What happens when the prostate is enlarged?
In BPH, the prostate gland grows. It will squeeze the urethra and restrict the flow of urine from the bladder. This will cause urine to backup in the bladder (retention) and the need for frequent urination. If severe enough, a complete blockage of the urethra can occur, which can injure the kidneys.
What are the symptoms of BPH?
Because the urethra becomes restricted the following symptoms can occur.
Frequent urination, particularly at night.
Weak urine stream
Sudden urges to urinate
Trouble starting and stopping urinating
Inability to empty your bladder
Having to strain to urinate
Burning pain during urination
At what age does BPH start?
By the age of 60years, 50% of men will have some signs of BPH. This will increase to approx 90% by the age of 85 yrs. The severity of the enlargement of the prostate will vary, however approx one third of these men will have to have some form of treatment.
How is BPH diagnosed?
A doctor can usually detect an enlarged prostate by a rectal exam. The doctor also may examine the urethra, prostate, and bladder using a cystoscope, an instrument that is inserted through the penis.
How is BPH treated?
There are several different ways to treat BPH:
- Watch and Waiting is often chosen by men who are not bothered by the symptoms of BPH. They have no treatment but get regular checkups and wait to see whether or not the condition gets worse.
- Drug Therapy is a typically first treatment protocol that a doctor will prescribe for men who are experiencing symptoms of BPH. Drug therapy is not a cure, but can reduce symptoms and help to slow the growth of the prostate.
- Surgery is the treatment most likely to relieve BPH symptoms. However, it also has the most complications. There are various procedures offered today, some with fewer risks of complications. If your doctor recommends that you need surgery, ask him/her about laser surgery using the RevoLix laser and if it is right for you.
Men should talk to their doctor and discuss the benefits/risks of each treatment option. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with BPH or any urology related condition you should consult with your physician; it is important to see your doctor as early as possible.