Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a common condition in aging men where the prostate gland grows in size, causing symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, weak urine stream, difficulty starting or stopping urination, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. Treatment options for enlarged prostate vary depending on the severity of symptoms, the size of the prostate, the patient’s overall health, and their preference. Some of the treatment options include:

  1. Watchful Waiting: For men with mild symptoms, especially if they are not significantly bothered by them, watchful waiting may be recommended. This involves regular monitoring of symptoms without immediate intervention.

  2. Medications: Several medications are available to manage symptoms of BPH by either shrinking the prostate gland or relaxing the muscles around the bladder and prostate to improve urine flow. These medications include alpha-blockers (e.g., tamsulosin, alfuzosin) and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (e.g., finasteride, dutasteride).

  3. Minimally Invasive Procedures: These procedures are performed to relieve symptoms of BPH while avoiding traditional surgery. Examples include:

    • Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT): This procedure uses microwave energy to destroy prostate tissue.
    • Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA): TUNA involves inserting needles into the prostate and delivering radiofrequency energy to heat and destroy prostate tissue.
    • Prostatic Urethral Lift (UroLift): UroLift involves inserting small implants into the prostate to hold back the enlarged tissue, opening the urethra and reducing symptoms.
    • Water Vapor Thermal Therapy (Rezūm): This procedure involves injecting steam into the prostate to destroy excess tissue and shrink the gland.
  4. Surgical Procedures: In cases of severe symptoms or when other treatments have failed, surgery may be recommended. Surgical options for BPH include:

    • Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP): This is a traditional surgical procedure where excess prostate tissue is removed using a resectoscope inserted through the urethra.
    • Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP): HoLEP is a minimally invasive laser procedure that removes excess prostate tissue.
    • Open Prostatectomy: In rare cases of very large prostates, open surgery may be necessary to remove the excess tissue.
  5. Latest Treatment Options: Emerging treatments for BPH include:

    • Aquablation Therapy: This is a robotic-assisted procedure that uses a high-velocity water jet to remove excess prostate tissue.
    • Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE): PAE is a minimally invasive procedure where small particles are injected into the arteries supplying blood to the prostate, leading to shrinkage of the gland.

It’s essential for individuals with BPH to discuss their symptoms and treatment options with their healthcare provider to determine the most suitable approach based on their specific circumstances and preferences.

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