The prostate is a walnut-sized organ that produces a fluid that nourishes the sperm. Several factors such as age, genetics, and lifestyle can cause the prostate to increase in size. The prostate tends to grow over time, usually by the time a man reaches his mid-thirties.
An enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition may or may not present symptoms. Treatment is usually based on if the patient experiences symptoms. However, an enlarged prostate can cause kidney and bladder symptoms.
A urologist can diagnose and treat an enlarged prostate. Let’s go over the treatments that are used to treat benign prostate hyperplasia.
An enlarged prostate may improve with medication. The urologist may prescribe Alpha-blockers to relax the bladder and prostate muscles, and ease urinary symptoms. Finasteride and Dutasteride (5-alpha reductase inhibitors) may also be prescribed by the urologist to help shrink the prostate. This medication regulates the hormones that allow the prostate to grow larger.
When patients with moderate to severe symptoms of BPH do not respond to medication, the urologist may recommend a minimally invasive surgery (one of many techniques can be used).
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
During a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) procedure, the surgeon goes into the urethra, and guided by a lighted scope, removes the obstructing tissue at the inner part of the prostate. This is considered the gold standard for treating BPH. Symptoms will be relieved by widening the channel for urine flow and easing pressure on the bladder.
For a laser prostatectomy procedure, the surgeon uses a high-energy laser to remove the obstructive tissue. An instrument with a laser is guided through the urethra and acts as a knife to cut away excess prostate tissue. The removed tissue may be sucked out using another instrument called a morcellator and a catheter will be used to drain any urine. Laser prostatectomy has fewer side effects compared to other treatments as it does away with scraping. Laser procedures may have different names depending on the type of laser used.
Prostatic Urethral Lift (PUL)
A prostatic urethral lift is another minimally invasive procedure that compresses the sides of the enlarged prostate using small implants. This improves urine flow by widening the urethra. The surgeon inserts an instrument into the urethra and continues until it reaches the side of the prostate. Then, small implants will be released to separate the lobes of the prostate to widen the channel.
A urologist can perform all the treatments detailed above. For the best outcome, choose a urologist that is board-certified, and with a special focus on men’s health issues.
If an enlarged prostate causes you to experience unpleasant symptoms, Dr. Desiderio Avila Jr. at Ironwood Urology will determine the best course of treatment to help you be comfortable again.
Dr. Avila is a board-certified urologist who offers all the treatments mentioned above. He is highly experienced in treating men’s health issues such as low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and more.