Prostate enlargement is one of the most common problems related to men. It’s also known by medical synonyms viz. benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The cells of the prostate multiply, thereby exerting pressure in the urethra.
Symptoms of prostate enlargement
Prostate enlargement is more prevalent among men of older age group i.e. above 50. The symptoms are mostly marked by problems in urination.
- Weak flow of urine
- Incomplete emptying of bladder
- Urine dribbling and urine leaking
- Difficulty and straining to initiate urine
- Urine urgency, frequent urination
Causes of prostate enlargement
The exact causes of prostate enlargement are not known. Doctors assume that it’s a normal part of the aging process, i.e. 90% of men above 80 years of age have this problem.
It might also be a consequence of hormonal imbalance. Men who have family history of prostate enlargement are absolutely vulnerable.
Diagnosis of prostate enlargement
Your doctor will analyse the urinary symptoms, check your probable history of prostate or other health problems and then conduct some physical as well as diagnostic tests.
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)- feeling the prostate manually by inserting a gloved finger inside the rectum.
- Series of urine tests which include urinalysis and urine culture to check for blood or infection, uroflowmetry or urine flow rate to measure the pressure and functionality of the bladder while urinating, and post-void residual urine test.
- Imaging tests like intravenous urography (X ray of the urinary tract including kidneys, bladder and urethera) or intravenous pyelogram, transrectal ultrasound to view the prostate and its surrounding area, and cystoscopy to view the inside of the urethra with a cystoscope.
- Blood tests for hormone and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) are also conducted.
Treatment of prostate enlargement
The treatment depends on the degree of enlargement, the test reports and not to miss out the age of the patient.
Prostate enlargement can be treated with medicines like alpha blockers to relax the muscles of the bladder and the prostate and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that work on hormones that stimulate enlargement of prostate.
If medicines do not work, then your doctor might consider minimal invasive surgeries which involve inserting an instrument via the urethra to reach the prostate and eliminate the extra growth.
Commonly used techniques are:
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
- Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP or TIP)
- High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
- Transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT)
Other treatment options include laser surgery to remove the overgrown tissue and open prostatectomy in case of severe prostate enlargement.
Complications of prostate enlargement
Due to retention of urine in the bladder the person might suffer from urinary tract infection. Acute urinary retention, bladder stone, damage of bladder muscle and lastly kidney damage are some other complications of prostate enlargement.
Self care for prostate enlargement
- Your doctor will suggest several ways to regulate urination which involve scheduling toilet visits and complete emptying of bladder
- Learn kegel exercises from a physiotherapist and practise the to improve the function of your pelvic muscles and heal urinary incontinence
- Limit intake of beverages including alcohol in the evening or avoid filling yourself with water before going to bed
- Complications of prostate enlargement can be sorted to a large extent with the aforementioned self care strategies. Follow the post operative advices suggested by your doctor for speedy recovery.
Written by: healthplus24.com, team
Date last updated: Feburary 06, 2014