Whenever you mention conditions affecting the prostate, what comes to mind is prostate cancer. Unfortunately, this is not the only common prostate disease. BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, results from growth of the prostate gland. This growth usually results in urine retention or makes you urinate frequently. It is believed that about half of all the men over 50 years develop this condition, but only a small percentage of them require treatment. Its exact cause is unknown although initial studies indicated that men who had higher levels of oestrogen were more likely to have a serious case of BPH.
In many cases, BPH does not require treatment. It is only when you feel like the symptoms that you are experiencing are affecting your quality of life that you should seek treatment. Below are the different ways of treating BPH.
Alpha blockers can be very effective in helping people with BPH get the relief that they need. They do so by relaxing the prostate muscles. Remember, these drugs do not alter the size of the prostate gland in any way. When these drugs are used for a few weeks, they can eliminate all the symptoms of BPH.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
This is a type of surgery although no incisions are made. The surgeon usually inserts an instrument called a resectoscope via the urethra. Using this instrument, the doctor can then slice off part of the inner prostate so as to clear the way of urine. The irrigating fluid found in the resectoscope usually carries the piece that is cut off into the bladder where it is flushed out once the operation is over. This procedure is normally carried out under anesthesia and can last for about 90 minutes.
Transurethral Incision of the Prostate (TUIP)
Unlike TURP, TUIP’s goal is to widen the urethra so that it is easy to pass urine. The procedure is carried out using a rectoscope to cut small pieces from the bladder neck and the prostate itself. This procedure is considered safer than TURP in terms of potential side effects.
Microwaves are known to possess some amount of energy. This therapy exploits the energy found in these rays to treat BPH. The treatment involves focusing microwaves on the prostate region, and if this is done for a few days, it results in shrinkage of the prostate. With the prostate shrunk, passing urine is simplified, and any other symptoms of BPH go away.
Laser surgery has been used to treat BPH since 1996. Side-firing laser fibres are used to vaporize any obstructing prostate tissue which then results in its shrinkage. The laser is usually led to the prostate via the urethra using a cystoscope. Laser surgery may be effective, but it can only be used successfully with smaller prostates.
If your BPH has been making you uncomfortable, you can choose to have any of these treatments. They are effective and will alleviate your pain and even give you more control when it comes to passing urine.