BPH – Diagnosis and Treatment

BPH is an enlarged prostate gland that can cause problems with urination. There are many treatments, including surgical and non-surgical. These can be invasive or non-evasive.

BPH, also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes very enlarged and may cause problems associated with urination.

BPH does not usually cause problems until later in life, usually not till the 60s.

One you are diagnosed with BPH, your treatment will be determined by your physician based on your age, overall health, medical history and extent of the disease.

When the prostate gland is just mildly enlarged, treatment may not be needed. Regular checkups are important to watch for developing problems.  Your physician will continue monitoring your condition.

There are surgical and non-surgical treatments for BPH.  A surgery would involve the removal of the enlarged tissue that is pressing against the urethra.  There are three types of surgery:  transurethral, laser and open.

The transurethral surgery is done without any external incisions.  The surgeon will reach the prostate with an instrument inserted into the urethra.  One example of this surgery is a transurethral resection (TRUP).  A resectoscope is inserted through the penis and the wire loop on the scope is used to remove the obstructing tissue.  The tissue is carried by the fluid into the bladder and flushed out when the surgery is complete.  Another form of this surgery is a transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP), which is a procedure that widens the urethra by making some small cuts in the bladder neck and in the prostate gland itself.

A possibly less evasive form of the prostate gland removal is a laser surgery.  In this procedure, a laser is used to vaporize obstructing prostate tissue.

Finally, there is an option for an open surgery, which would require an external incision.  This is usually done when the gland is very enlarged, when there are complicating factors, or when the bladder has been damaged and needs to be repaired.

There are also numerous non-surgical treatments.  These include the following:

  • A balloon urethroplasty – this procedure involves a thin tube with a balloon that is inserted into the opening of the penis and guided to the narrowed portion of the urethra.  At that point, the balloon is inflated to widen the urethra and ease the flow of urine.
  • A transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) – this involves a device that heats and destroys excess prostate tissue to reduce urinary frequency and urgency.
  • Medications – can be used to shrink or stop the growth of the prostate without using surgery.

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