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BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, refers to enlargement of the prostate in the absence of cancer. This condition affects millions of men across the country. The problem usually starts when the man is in his fifties. An enlarged prostate gland can result in blockage to the flow of urine. If the condition is not treated, several complications can occur including urinary tract infections, bladder stones, permanent damage to the bladder and permanent damage to the kidneys.
The Symptoms of BPH Include:
- Weak urine stream
- Frequent urination
- Urgency to urinate
- Urgency incontinence
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
Generally, the larger the prostate, the worse the symptoms. The size of the prostate, however, does not always determine the severity of symptoms. Some men with only a slightly enlarged prostates have more severe symptoms, while other men with very large prostates have only minor issues.
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The most important risk factor for BPH is family history. Diabetes and obesity may also play a role. Ultimately, it is the production of testosterone that causes the male prostate to enlarge.
When the prostate enlarges it starts to block the flow of urine. The prostate is shaped like a donut. The prostate surrounds the urethra which is a tube that carries the urine from the bladder out the penis. So as the prostate enlarges, the urethra is compressed and the urine becomes blocked.
When it comes to BPH, there are a number of treatment options, including medication, TURP, and laser therapy. You should always start with medication before proceeding to surgery.
The treatment of BPH starts with medication. Flomax, or tamsulosin, is a medication that is classified as an alpha-blocker. It works by relaxing the smooth muscle surrounding the prostate. Flomax does not shrink the prostate. Nevertheless, it is the most effective medication on the market for this condition. The main side effect is postural hypotension, or dizziness when you stand up. If you had a stroke, you should not take Flomax.
Avodart or Proscar are two medications that shrink the size of the prostate. They take several months to work and produce about a 15% to 20% shrinkage of the prostate. They are very safe and are most appropriate for older men who have coexisting medical issues.
Transurethral Incision of the Prostate (TURP)
The Transurethral Resection of the Prostate, or TURP, is a surgical procedure performed in the hospital with the patient under general or spinal anesthesia. The procedure involves placing a fiber-optic telescope into the penis and advancing it to the prostate. An electric current is passed through a wire loop. The loop is advanced out the tip of the telescope and into the prostate. The hot loop cuts away the inside part of the prostate that is blocking the flow of urine. The outside part of the prostate is not affected.
Patients remain in the hospital overnight. The catheter is usually removed in the morning and the patient is then discharged home.
In most patients, the procedure does not affect the erection or the sensation of orgasm. The TURP does, in most cases, cause the patient to ejaculate less fluid. You should not have this procedure if you want to have more children. Significant bleeding or incontinence are rare complications.
Green Light Laser TURP
The green light laser prostatectomy is similar to the TURP, except that it uses laser energy instead of electrical energy. Dr. Lazare inserts a cystoscope, or fiber-optic telescope, into the urethra and advances it to the prostate. He then inserts a laser fiber through the scope and he applies laser energy directly to the prostate. The prostate is then vaporized by the laser.
The advantage of this procedure is that bleeding is minimal. You can even undergo this procedure if you are taking aspirin or blood thinners. You will most likely return home catheter-free in less than 24 hours.
Following this procedure, you will remain in the hospital overnight. You will then be discharged home from the hospital the following morning with a catheter attached to a leg bag. Dr. Lazare usually removes the catheter in his office two days later. Recovery is usually rapid and you can often return to work in about a week.
Side effects are usually minimal. The procedure does not cause incontinence or impotence in the vast majority of cases. The TURP will cause you to ejaculate less fluid. You should not have this procedure if you want to have more children.
Rare complications include significant bleeding and the “TUR” syndrome which is caused by absorption of excess water.
The main side-effect is inflammation caused by the laser energy. This inflammation can take 2 to 3 weeks to subside and may result in discomfort upon urination during this period.
Video About Enlarged Prostate
If you believe that you are dealing with an enlarged prostate you can seek treatment at our Brooklyn, New York office. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lazare and get started on your journey towards a better quality of life.