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Enlarged Prostate – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

What is Enlarged Prostate?

Enlarged Prostate, also called as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition faced by men as they get older. In fact, the most common problem for men over 50 is prostate enlargement. Dr. Abhijit Gokhale is a Urological Surgeon having an experience of over 20 years providing Prostate Treatment in Pune.

Symptoms

The prostate gland produces some of the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. It is the gland that surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the system. An enlarged prostate means the gland has grown bigger as the prostate cells have multiplied. This enlargement puts pressure on the urethra and as it narrows, the bladder has to contract more forcefully to push urine through the body.

Overtime the bladder may become stronger and overly sensitive to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing the need to frequently urinate. Eventually, the bladder muscle cannot overcome the effect of the narrowed urethra and hence the bladder doesn’t get emptied completely.

Symptoms of enlarged prostate can include any one or more of the following:

  • Frequent urination
  • Slow or weak urinary stream
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Pain with urination (may be a sign of infection)
  • Continued dribbling of urine
  • Discontinuous flow of urinary stream

 

Causes

The real cause of prostate enlargement is still unknown. Studies indicate that the cells of the testicles may have a role in the growth of the gland as well as testosterone levels and aging. Facts about prostate enlargement you should know about:

  • The likelihood of having an enlarged prostate increases with age.
  • By 60 years old, over half of the men have BPH, and by 85 years old the percentage increases to as high as 90%.
  • BPH is not a cancer, also it does not increase your risk for prostate cancer.
  • No side effects have been identified besides having normally-functional testicles.

 

Treatments

The treatment you choose depends on your symptoms, how severe they are, and also on other medical conditions. A range of treatments can cure prostate enlargement from medications, minimally invasive procedures to surgery. The size of your prostate gland, your age and overall health is also factored into which treatment to opt for.

Usually older men may need immediate relief through medications and surgery whereas younger men tend to opt for minimally invasive procedures. According to the American Urological Association, surgery does the best job of curing BPH, but it also has more risks than other treatments. Serious problems like incontinence or erection problems can occur due to surgery but they are extremely rare.

Medications

Alpha-Blockers – These drugs don’t reduce the size of the prostate but they are very effective for relieving the symptoms. They work by relaxing the muscles so that the urine can pass more easily. These drugs work quickly and hence the symptoms improve within a day or two at the most. These are most effective for men with normal to moderately enlarged prostate glands.

Minimally Invasive Treatments  

When medications don’t help to reduce your enlarged prostate, several effective procedures can be done to relieve symptoms, besides surgery. These procedures use different types of heat energy to shrink or reduce a portion of the prostate.

Surgery

For most men with very enlarged prostates, surgeries can relieve symptoms. Depending on your condition and medical health history, your doctor may recommend the type of surgery best suited for you.

TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate) – This is the most common surgery for an enlarged prostate, and is considered to bring the most reduction in symptoms. The procedure involves an electrical loop that cuts tissue and seals blood vessels. Most doctors suggest using TURP whenever surgery is required because it is less traumatic than open surgery and requires less recovery time.

Laser TURP – This procedure uses a high-energy vaporizing laser to destroy the prostate tissues. It is done under general anesthesia and may require an overnight stay at the hospital. It provides immediate relief of symptoms, yet men may suffer from painful urination for a few weeks.

Open Prostate Surgery – When a TURP procedure cannot be used, open surgery may be done. This allows the surgeon to remove tissue in the prostate. Open prostatectomy is typically done when the prostate gland is greatly enlarged when there is bladder damage, if there are bladder stones, or if the urethra is narrowed. This surgery is done under general or spinal anesthesia, and the recovery period is long from a few weeks to several months.

About Dr. Abhijit Gokhale

M.S. (General Surgery) DNB (Urology)

Dr. Abhijit Gokhale is a Urologist, Andrologist, and Urological Surgeon in Shivajinagar, Pune, and has experience of over 20 years in the field. Dr. Abhijit Gokhale practices at Sanjeevan Surgery in Shivajinagar, Pune. He completed MBBS from B.J. Medical College, Pune in 1988, MS – General Surgery from B.J. Medical College, Pune in 1993 and DNB – Urology/Genito – Urinary Surgery from National Board of Examination in 2000.

He is a member of the Urological Society of India (USI), Urology Society of Pune, Pune Surgical Society and Indian Medical Association (IMA).

To know more about his services, please visit Dr. Abhijit Gokhale.