A man's journey as his prostate grows

Peeing urgently or frequently? Leaking? Getting up many times in the night?

The medical term is "BPH",
. . . or an enlarged prostate

It's quite common, don’t assume it's cancer. All men's prostates grow with age, some with and some without any troublesome symptoms.

First thing, don’t be worried - talk to your doctor!

What will your doctor ask you,
. . . or do?

You may have a urine test to check for infections and diabetes, a rectal exam to feel for prostate size and shape and a blood test to determine your PSA levels.

PSA is a protein that typically increases when something is wrong with the prostate.

Depending on the test results . .

.. a further examination may be suggested to rule out prostate cancer.

Remember, the quicker you're on the radar, the quicker the treatment AND the better the outcome.

Treatment depends on how enlarged the prostate is and the severity of symptoms;

Medication & surgical options . .

Drugs such as alpha blockers can relax the muscles around the top of urethra, phosphodiesterase inhibitors which can also help with erection problems and alpha-reductase inhibitors can shrink the size of the prostate but may reduce sex drive.

IMPORTANT: tell your doctor if you take finasteride for hair loss as this can impact your PSA levels.

Surgical options available . .

A common treatment is a "TURP" which stands for Transurethral Resection of the Prostate. The surgeon reshapes the prostate with special tools via your urethra.

The procedure is done under general or twilight anaesthetic. It takes about ONE hour and an overnight stay in hospital

Less invasive surgical procedures . . sometimes called "minimally invasive"

. . HoLep and Greenlight laser, Urolift, Rezum.

They all aim to help you pee more freely by reducing pressure on your urethra from your prostate, but do it in slightly different ways

I'll briefly try to explain . . .

HoLep & GreenLight Laser

. . a laser is inserted into your urethra and vapourises excess prostate tissue. Your consulant will advise on what laser type is best for you.

Generally fast results & recovery, typically ONE day in hospital, little bleeding compared to TURP and no long-term catheter.

Urolift® is the brand name.

. . a special tool with a "wire & hook like" implant is inserted into your urethra

The tool is pushed through the urethra and inserts multiple implants into the prostate through the narrowed side walls. The implant holds the excess prostate away from the urethra

. . allowing you to pee more efficiently! Its typically, a day case procedure.

Rezum® BPH system

. . a probe is inserted into your urethra all the way to where the "tube" narrows

At the narrow point the tool inserts a tiny pipe through the side wall of the urethra and injects steam into the excess prostate tissue. The tissue then shrinks to reduce the narrowing.

. . It has few side effects and is an out-patient procedure.

Remember treatment is typically a combination

Initial treatment is a medication pathway.

Depending on response, surgery may follow BUT may involve more surgery & revisions over time.

Some surgeons perform a mini TURP at the same time as "minimally invasive" procedures.

. . . in the meantime?

Don't worry, stay strong, do these . . if you don't already?

Have a pee, stop, wait 5 mins and go again, never straining.

Visit the toilet even if you dont want to go.

Plan whenever you're out & about

Keep your weight under control, food, exercise.. I'm sure you know?

. . . don't drink before bedtime