Enlarged Prostate – BPH

Enlarged prostate BPH DiagramThe common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:

  • Difficulty urinating or a weak urinary stream
  • Stopping and starting during urination or significant dribbling after urination
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Having to urinate again shortly after urination
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Blood in the urine

It isn’t known what causes prostate enlargement. Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family history
  • Marital status (married men have higher rates of enlarged prostate than unmarried men)

Physicians typically use a quick test to diagnose and assess the severity of an enlarged prostate. The test, known as the International Prostate Symptom Score, asks the patient to assess the frequency of urinary symptoms in the past month. A urine flow study, which measures the strength of the urinary stream, may also be ordered.

Physicians will also perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer. While PSA is not used to diagnose enlarged prostate, its level in the blood is moderately elevated in 30 to 50 percent of men who have the condition.

Treatment for enlarged prostate depends on the severity of symptoms.

If symptoms are mild, many physicians recommend watchful waiting, which means scheduling regular examinations to evaluate the prostate rather than actually treating it.

Moderate symptoms usually require drug treatment. Alpha blockers relax the muscles around the urethra, allowing full urine flow. Finasteride (Proscar) can reduce the size of the prostate.

Moderate to severe symptoms may prompt surgery, such as the following options:

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP
  • Transurethral incision of the prostate, or TUIP
  • Open prostatectomy
  • Laser surgery
  • Transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT)
  • Transurethral needle ablation, or TUNA
  • Interstitial laser thermotherapy (Indigo Laser)
  • Water-induced thermal therapy

Adopting certain habits can reduce the symptoms of enlarged prostate. Physicians may recommend limiting the consumption of beverages in the evening; reducing the consumption of alcohol, which stimulates urination and irritates the bladder; and exercising regularly.

A New Wave in BPH Treatment at Tower Urology Los Angeles

Tower Urology now offers The Rezūm System – a transurethral needle ablation* procedure to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that can be performed in a clinic or out-patient setting.

Rezūm uses the radiofrequency generated stored thermal energy in water vapor (steam) to treat the extra prostate tissue that is causing symptoms such as frequency, urgency, irregular flow, weak stream, straining and getting up at night to urinate.

GET STARTED with The Rezūm System and other BPH solutions by filling out the IPSS Patient Questionnaire below.

Freedom from the Foley

SpannerThe Spanner® Prostatic Stent is a temporary stent inserted into the urethra at the neck of the bladder to maintain urine flow. The Spanner benefits men with bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) by reducing elevated post void residual (PVR), improving voiding symptoms, and allowing for voluntary urination. As an alternative to a Foley Catheter, it allows men to naturally fill and empty their bladders.

Key Benefits of The Spanner

  • Normal micturition achieved with bladder and sphincter
  • Improves urination efficiency by decreasing urine left in the bladder
  • Reduces rate of bacterial colonization compared to the Foley catheter
  • Maintains sexual activity
  • Well tolerated by patients
  • Improves IPSS scores
  • Greatly preferred by patients over catheterization

Patient Questionnaire: International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS)

  • Total Score 0-7 mild symptoms 8-19 moderate symptoms 20-35 severe symptoms Regardless of the score, if your symptoms are bothersome you should notify your doctor.