Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, commonly known as bph is quite common as men reach age 45 and beyond. The prostate gland enlarges, which can obstruct the urethra and interfere with the normal flow of urine. It may however also worsen erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction. If you think you may have bph you may assess your symptoms with this questionnaire: International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS). Bph is not prostate cancer, but rather a benign, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that is very common among older men.
Treatments for BPH
A number of medications can be prescribed for bph. Alpha blockers relax the muscles around the prostate thus allowing better flow of urine. Five alpha reductase inhibitors, alleviate symptoms and reduce the size of the gland by blocking testosterone stimulation of the prostate.
Both types of drugs can have side effects including erectile dysfunction, diminished libido, ejaculation problems, dizziness or headache.
Minimally Invasive Procedures and Surgery
Longer-lasting relief from bph symptoms is achieved with other treatments, such as microwave thermal therapy (TUMT), traditional surgery (TURP), or laser surgery. When needed, we can also perform cystoscopy (to examine the interior of the urinary system) and prostate ultrasound with biopsy to exclude prostate cancer.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), is the traditional surgical method of treating bph. This surgery, done under anesthesia, removes prostate tissue through the urethra, without an external incision. Patients usually stay in the hospital the night following surgery.
Transurethral microwave thermotherapy of the prostate (TUMT) is an office-based procedure that uses computer-controlled microwave energy to destroy tissue. This procedure can be performed with local anesthesia, and has the benefit of quick recovery and minimal if any side effects. It is most effective in early bph when the prostate is not greatly enlarged.
Laser surgery is a less invasive alternative to TURP, and new technology continues to advance the effectiveness of this approach. In the procedure, while the patient is under anesthesia, a laser is used to destroy prostate tissue. Post-treatment sexual side effects are rare. In most cases, men resume normal activities within 24 hours. No tissue is removed, it is simply vaporized.
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