Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate gland is a common condition limited to the men race. It occurs as men grow old and can cause unpleasant urinary symptoms. After men reach the age of 40, their prostate gland usually starts to enlarge.
However, this is considered a normal and natural process of aging but the attempts to stop or cure it has never been found. Once the prostate gland enlargement process begins, there is no stopping it and the individual can experience some serious symptoms like blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder.
Nevertheless, there are several enlarged prostate treatment procedures and Campbell Urology offers effective treatments including minimally invasive surgery, medications, and therapies. To choose the best treatment option, the doctor will first consider your symptoms, your health condition, and the size of your prostate.
Signs and Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate
The severity of signs and symptoms in people who have Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or prostate gland enlargement differs, but the effect tends to gradually worsen over time. Common symptoms of prostate gland enlargement include:
- Difficulty in urination
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Weak urine stream. It gradually starts and stops
- Nocturia (increased frequency of urination during nights)
- Unable to completely empty the bladder
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Blood in urine
- Inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder damage
- Bladder stones
- Kidney damage
Risk Factors of Enlarged Prostate
The severe risk factors for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia include;
- Diabetes and Heart Disease: the use of beta blockers, heart disease, and diabetes might increase the risk of prostate gland enlargement.
- Aging: the signs start to show when men reach age 40 and above. Around 30% of men experience moderate to serious symptoms by age 60.
- Lifestyle: obesity and unnecessary weight gain can increase the risk of prostate gland enlargement. Regular exercise can minimize your risk.
- Family history: if someone from your family like your father or brother has prostate problems, you are likely to have some.
Diagnosis of Enlarged Prostate or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
At RG Stone, your doctor will perform a physical examination followed by asking detailed questions about your problems and symptoms. The initial stage of the diagnosis includes;
- Blood test: for detecting any kind of kidney problems
- Digital rectal exam: the doctor checks the rectum for determining prostate enlargement
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test: the doctor will look for increased levels of PSA in your prostate
- Urine test: the doctor will analyze your urine sample for detecting any kind of infection or other condition
If your symptoms are more complex, then before prescribing you an enlarged prostate surgery, the doctor may recommend running few more tests.
- Prostate biopsy: the doctor will retrieve some tissue samples from your prostate to run the biopsy. This is done to check any sings on prostate cancer
- Transrectal ultrasound: your prostate will be measured and evaluated using an ultrasound probe
- Cystoscopy: this procedure is done to examine your bladder and urethra. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic before performing this test
- Urodynamic and Pressure Flow Studies: this test measures your bladder pressure and determines how efficiently your bladder muscles are functioning
RG Stone specialists have experience in diagnosing complex conditions involving Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. You will have access to the latest diagnostic tools and testing.
Treatment for Enlarged Prostate or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
As discussed earlier, there is no successful cure for prostate gland enlargement. But there are certain treatment procedures that sure can slow down the growth process. Laser prostate treatment is the preferred method for all the doctors and patients. A laser prostate surgery includes a high-energy laser that removes or destroys an overgrown prostate tissue.
The reason why laser therapy is recommended is because it generally relieves the symptoms right away and you are less prone to experience any side effects as compared to non-laser surgery procedures. Laser therapy requires you to take blood-thinning medications and those who are undergoing other prostate procedures are not recommended.
Options at RG Stone for Laser Therapy include
- Holmium Laser Enucleation of Prostate (HoLEP):
It is one of the nucleotide procedures which use 100-watts Holmium laser with a 550 Micron Fiber attached to it. This machine is used to seal the blood vessels and remove the obstructive prostatic tissue blocking the urine flow. This laser therapy prevents the re-growth of the prostatic tissue.
The whole procedure could take around 60-90 minutes depending on the size of the prostate gland. The removed tissue is then collected for examining any signs of prostate cancer or any other symptoms.
- Holmium Laser Ablation of Prostate (HoLAP):
It is a similar procedure to HoLEP but the Holmium laser is used to vaporize the obstructive prostate tissues. This procedure is slightly riskier than HoLEP as there are side effects such as irritating urinating symptoms.
Similar to HoLAP is Photoselective Vaporization of Prostate (PVP) that also uses a laser to vaporize the excess prostate tissue blocking the urine flow. These types of laser procedures are used in rare conditions.