What is commonly known and referred to as an “enlarged prostate” is known in our office as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH, like various other prostate problems, is common in older men. Luckily, there are a few relatively simple, in-office treatment options available for men who experience enlarged prostate symptoms.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a small gland about the size and shape of a walnut. The gland sits low in the pelvis, below the bladder, just in front of the rectum, and surrounding part of the urethra. The prostate is the part of the male reproductive system that produces semen (the fluid that carries sperm from the testicles through the penis when a man ejaculates).
How does the prostate change with age?
As a man ages, it’s normal for their prostate to grow larger. This becomes a problem when the gland puts pressure on the urethra and prevents urine from passing. A man also becomes more susceptible to prostate problems including prostatitis, BPH, and prostate cancer as they age.
Occasionally, men between the ages of 30 and 40 will have urinary symptoms due to prostate problems and will require medical attention. Otherwise, men won’t typically see symptoms or problems until much later in life (50+).
What is an enlarged prostate or BPH?
BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia–benign meaning “not cancerous” and hyperplasia means abnormal cell growth.
BPH is simply an enlarged prostate. It is not related to cancer, nor does it increase your risk of getting prostate cancer.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate
You should notify or visit your doctor if you experience the following symptoms as they could be an indication of BPH.
- Trouble starting a urine stream or making more than a dribble.
- Passing urine often, especially at night.
- Feeling that the bladder has not fully emptied.
- A strong or sudden urge to pass urine.
- Stopping and starting again several times while passing urine.
- Pushing or straining to begin passing urine.
It’s important to confirm if your symptoms are related to a more serious problem like infection or cancer, as many of the symptoms are similar and overlap.
If left untreated, BPH can weaken your bladder, cause a backflow of urine (which leads to bladder and kidney infections), block the flow of urine, or lead to kidney failure.
Which opens the door to the question of how enlarged prostates are treated. There are various treatment options for BPH, surgical and minimally-invasive. Two of the most common in-office treatment options we offer at the Urology Specialists of the Carolinas, are Rezum and Urolift.
Treatment options for an enlarged prostate
Rezum is a treatment for BPH that uses the stored thermal energy in water vapor to treat extra prostate tissue and relieve symptoms.
Men choose to treat their BPH with Rezum because:
- An alternative to taking BPH medications.
- Relieves symptoms safely and effectively.
- Provides noticeable symptom improvement within two weeks.
- Is a simple in-office/ outpatient therapy, done without general anesthesia, that allows patients to return to regular activities within a few days.
- Preserves sexual and urinary functions
View this video to see how the treatment works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&time_continue=47&v=4RCBz0PnrTs
Urolift is a one-time, in-office solution that provides rapid relief and recovery from BPH symptoms. The Urolift System uses a revolutionary approach to treating BPH that lifts and holds the prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra.
It is the only BPH treatment that does not require heating, cutting, or removal of the prostate tissue. The procedure is typically performed using a local anesthesia in your Urologist’s office.
The benefits of Urolift include:
- Doesn’t cause new onset, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction
- Minimally invasive
- Minimal downtime
- Durable results
- Rapid symptom relief and recovery
- Significant improvement in the quality of life
As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Most men see great relief from their BPH symptoms with Urolift and Rezum. View the entire list of in-office procedures and treatments we offer for men with enlarged prostates. Then, consult with one of our urologists to determine which treatment would work best for you.
As always, a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle will help to keep you feeling your best. We offer a Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide that includes tips and tricks for optimal urology health. Download your copy and start living your best (and healthiest) life today!