Prostate Enlargement

Prostate Enlargement: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to prostate enlargement.

  • An enlarging prostate gland can squeeze against the urethra and, in some cases, constrict the neck of the bladder. This can cause problems with the flow of urine.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous condition.
  • The prostate normally increases in size as men age.
  • The incidence of BPH rises sharply after age 40, possibly due to hormonal changes.
  • The symptoms of BPH include irregularities in the stream of urine, problems controlling urination, and an increased frequency of urination.
  • Symptoms of BPH are categorized as mild, moderate, or severe; the severe symptoms are usually treated medically or surgically.
  • Treatment options include watchful waiting; medical treatments such as alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase enzyme inhibitors; and surgical treatments such as TUIP, TURP, and open prostatectomy.
  • Potential side effects of treatment include impotenceurinary incontinence, bleeding, and recurrence of enlargement requiring additional treatment; these risks must be weighed against the potential benefits.
  • Among the more recent treatment options are laser prostatectomytransurethral needle ablation (TUNA), high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), and prostate stents.

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