Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that affects many men as they age. It refers to the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, which can cause urinary symptoms such as a weak stream, frequent trips to the bathroom, and difficulty starting and stopping urination. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you are not alone. It is estimated that more than 50% of men over the age of 60 have BPH. The good news is that many BPH treatment options are available to help manage the symptoms of BPH.
BPH Treatment Options
1. Watchful Waiting
Watchful waiting, also known as active surveillance, is a good option for men with mild symptoms or those not ready for treatment. This approach involves monitoring your symptoms over time and changing your lifestyle, such as reducing your fluid intake before bedtime, to help manage your symptoms. If your symptoms worsen or interfere with your daily life, your doctor may recommend more aggressive treatment.
There are several medications available to help manage the symptoms of BPH. Alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin (Flomax) and alfuzosin (Uroxatral), relax the muscle in the prostate and bladder neck, making it easier to urinate. 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, such as finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart), shrink the size of the prostate, reducing the pressure on the urethra and improving urinary symptoms.
These medications can be taken orally and usually take several weeks to become effective. It is important to note that these medications do not cure BPH, and you may need to take them for the rest of your life.
3. Minimally Invasive Procedures
Minimally invasive procedures, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), are good options for men with moderate to severe symptoms. TURP involves removing a portion of the prostate gland through the urethra, while TUMT uses heat to shrink the prostate tissue.
These procedures are performed under anesthesia and do not require an incision, making them less invasive than traditional surgery. Most men experience improvement in their urinary symptoms within a few days of the procedure, but it may take several weeks to recover fully.
Surgery, such as an open prostatectomy, is a good option for men with severe symptoms that cannot be managed with medications or minimally invasive procedures. This procedure involves making an incision in the abdomen or the perineum and removing the enlarged portion of the prostate gland.
This procedure is moderately invasive and requires a longer recovery time, but it is also more effective in improving urinary symptoms. Your doctor will help you determine if surgery is the best option for you based on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health.
The Best BPH Treatment for You
Choosing the best treatment option for BPH depends on several factors, including the severity of your symptoms, overall health, and personal preferences. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best option for you, taking into account your medical history, lifestyle, and treatment goals.
Don’t delay finding the right BPH treatment for you — schedule an appointment today!