How We Can Help
Enlarged Prostate Treatment Information
We use a range of diagnostic methods to diagnose this condition and determine its extent. These include:
- Physical examination
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA—a substance present in the blood when the prostate is enlarged) testing
- Urodynamic evaluation to test flow of urine and ability to empty the bladder completely
- Biopsy (if PSA levels are elevated)
We often begin treatment conservatively to minimize impact on the patient. Our treatments include:
- Medicines. Different oral medicines available by prescription can ease the effects of an enlarged prostate without any other treatments or therapies.
- Alpha blockers are often effective in allowing urine to flow freely through the urethra. These medicines relax the muscles around the prostate and bladder, making it easier to urinate completely. You may begin to see the effects of alpha blockers within just a few days.
- 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor medicines affect the hormones that cause prostate enlargement and work by shrinking the prostate. They may take several months to have an effect and can possibly cause sexual side effects such as impotence.
- Tadalafil is commonly used for erectile dysfunction, but can also benefit an enlarged prostate. It cannot be taken with alpha blockers or nitrates used for chest pain.
- Thermal therapy. When medicines do not fully restore urinary function, we may use thermal therapy. This is a non-surgical procedure in which we use a transurethral (through the urethra) tool to apply microwave heat directly to the prostate. Some short-term swelling results from this procedure. We leave a catheter in the urethra for a few days to drain urine from the bladder. When the swelling passes, BPH tissue shrinks and urine passes freely through the urethra. Most men have minimal sexual side effects from this treatment. BPH may recur after a long period of time passes.
- Surgery. Sometimes medicine and thermal therapy are not fully effective. Many urologists use a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) to treat BPH. However, we have found that minimally invasive surgery using a holmium laser (Holmium Laser Enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) is more effective for treating BPH while preserving healthy prostate tissue. The laser technique works well for enlarged prostates of any size, but it is particularly effective when the prostate has grown very large. Often patients typically go home the same day of the procedure or the next morning with immediate improvement in urination. Laser treatment is a permanent treatment because we have removed the BPH tissue. Sexual side effects from this procedure are usually minimal.
Enlarged Prostate Locations & Physicians
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Enlarged Prostate Support Services
Learning about your condition may help you make decisions and work more effectively with your physician. Visit the websites below to find out more about BPH.
A Sampling of Enlarged Prostate Support Services
This national government website provides a broad overview of enlarged prostate and treatment options available.
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
This service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides extensive information about enlarged prostate, treatment and recovery.