Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the most common disease affecting the prostate. This condition affects the majority of men at some time during their lives. Even men in their twenties start to develop microscopic evidence of BPH. However, men older than 50 years are more likely to experience these symptoms.

As the prostate enlarges and encroaches on the urethra, a multitude of symptoms may develop. Obstructive symptoms such as difficulty starting urinary flow, double-voiding, weak stream, dribbling, and a sensation of incomplete emptying may occur. Irritative symptoms may also occur, which include frequency, urgency, and getting up at night to urinate. A thorough history and physical exam are important in diagnosing BPH. A prostate specific antigen (PSA), and possibly a urine flow and assessment of residual urine with a bladder ultrasound, may be necessary to assess the severity of the symptoms. An American Urologic Association assessment questionnaire will help quantify the degree of voiding difficulty.

BPH Treatment

BPH treatment options include medication for some men, while others with severe symptoms and inability to urinate (urinary retention) often require a minimally invasive or surgical procedure to allow the urine to flow better through the prostate. Some procedures are performed on an outpatient basis while others require up to two days in the hospital.

Treatment options include: