A common condition among aging men, enlargement of the prostate gland is most often characterized by bladder control problems. Not all men experience symptoms of prostate enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), but those who should consult their doctor if those symptoms begin to interfere with daily activities.
The most common symptom of BPH is trouble urinating. This may include having a weak urine stream, difficulty starting urination, increased urinating at night, straining to urinate or not being able to completely empty the bladder. Urinary tract infections and developing bladder stones are also symptoms of BPH. One experiencing these symptoms should schedule an appointment with their doctor, as symptoms may be caused by a more serious condition, like prostate cancer.
In order to diagnose prostate enlargement, doctors collect detailed information about the patient’s symptoms and may conduct a digital rectal exam, to physically examine the prostate. A neurological exam will reveal any loss of nerve function crucial to proper urinary function. Finally, a urinalysis allows doctors to rule out infections or other conditions that may be causing the experienced symptoms.
Treatments for BPH ranges from medication to surgery, depending on the severity of the symptoms experienced and the health risks involved for the patient. Drugs, such as alpha blockers, 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, or a combination of the two, are common treatments for BPH. If symptoms are too much of a health risk to moderate with drug treatments, doctors may recommend any one of many surgical options.
There are numerous surgeries to correct BPH. A more common procedure is known as TURP, transurethral resection of the prostate. Transurethral incision of the prostate, or TUIP, is more appropriate for patients at risk for complications with other surgeries. If the prostate has become severely enlarged, open prostatectomy may be the most appropriate option. However, it is typically not a first choice due to the risk of side effects.
Increasingly, doctors suggest minimally invasive solutions for BPH. There are a wide variety of minimally invasive procedures to correct enlarged prostate, but some of the most common are: laser therapy, called HOLAP (Holmium Laser Ablation of the Prostate), transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) and prostatic stents.
The Jackson Clinic Urologists offer services to patients all over West Tennessee and throughout the Mid-South including Paducah, Jonesboro, Memphis and Tupelo. Urology services are offered at the West Forest location.
To request an appointment, call 731.422.0213 or submit your request online.