What is BPH enlarged prostate? Symptoms Assessments & Treatment

What is BPH enlarged prostate?

BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) means an enlargement of the prostate gland. From the age of forty five the prostate gland gradually grows and continues to grow throughout your lifetime, often without any noticeable symptoms. BPH is quite common and is diagnosed in eighty percent of patients reaching their seventies, with a third of all BPH patients experiencing troublesome symptoms and seeking treatment.

BPH Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Symptoms Treatment
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Typical symptoms

An enlarged prostate can restrict the urethra and ultimately cause urinary difficulties. Not all patients experience the symptoms of BPH but they can include; the slow starting and interrupted flow of urine, the inability to empty the bladder satisfactorily and a more frequent need to urinate often throughout night. If untreated, symptoms can cause infection or possible kidney damage.

Assessments to diagnosis

The prostate is examined and assessed by healthcare specialists in prostate and kidney function. Tests, such as a DRE, urine flow test may be conducted to assess blockages and to rule out other potential causes of inflammation such as infection. A visual device known as a cystoscopy might be used to closer examine the prostate.

Typical BPH treatment

In some cases, frequent monitoring will be the only requirement, but medication could also be used to relieve pressure applied to the bladder. Although surgery such as Greenlight laser, Urolift, iTind, Rezum and TURP is optional, it often proves unnecessary. Treatment of BPH is patient-specific and typically dictated by individual diagnosis, and patients can expect to feel better after just a few days.

BPH medication

It is essential that prostate specialists manage and evaluate the medication  to achieve the desired results. BPH medication is used to relieve pressure placed on the bladder by relaxing the surrounding muscle tissues. Full improvement can take up to six weeks but patients typically see an improvement in symptoms in just a few days.

Active monitoring

Although urgent treatment may prove unnecessary for some patients, frequent monitoring of BPH is important. The symptomatic impact experienced by the patient will be assessed, with their everyday lifestyle taken also being taken into consideration. The duration and frequency of this monitoring is typically case-specific.

TURP (TransUrethral Resection of the Prostate)

TURP treatment involves an electrical loop being inserted into a tiny telescope, then into the urethra; the electrical loop removes slivers of the prostate, while also sealing blood vessels as it goes. Typically performed under general (sometimes spinal) anaesthetic, the TURP procedure involves no external incisions and usually takes less than an hour to perform.

TURis (TransUrethral Resection in saline)

TURis treatment uses a saline solution and glycerin when delivering electricity to the hoop. The key benefit this provides is the risk of serious complication being lowered; TURis eliminates the need for electricity to pass through the patient and can therefore reach higher temperatures and seal blood vessels more effectively.

Reference; Mayo Clinic, USA, Research Program, March 2021

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