Enlarged Prostate Treatment, Prostate Surgery

Enlarged Prostate Treatment

If you suffer from an enlarged prostate, it's important to seek help to preserve your quality of life, and avoid potentially serious complications. Thankfully, there are several effective treatments available for BPH, including a new gentler and safer surgical treatment using laser.

Many men opt to live with these difficulties, changing their lifestyle to accommodate the symptoms of BPH. But it doesn't have to be that way.

What is BPH and why do I have it?

BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is an enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs naturally in many men over 50.

The prostate gland is important for male fertility. It sits just under the bladder, surrounding the urine tube or urethra. As men age, the prostate naturally enlarges, and eventually it can restrict the urethra causing urinary difficulties.

Aside from having an impact on your quality of life, the symptoms of an enlarged prostate could result in other medical complications, such as bladder infections, bladder stones and even kidney damage if left untreated. That's why it's important to seek treatment for an enlarged prostate.

What treatments are available for an enlarged prostate?

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are a number of enlarged prostate treatment options available. Your doctor will help you decide which treatments are right for you.

Watch and wait

In the early stages of an enlarged prostate, when the symptoms aren't particularly bothersome, treatment is generally not necessary. If your BPH symptoms are mild, your doctor might advise a 'watch and wait' approach, and ask you to track your symptoms for signs of any worsening.

BPH medication

For men whose enlarged prostate symptoms are moderate, the next step may be medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or both of the following types of BPH medication:

  • Alpha blockers: These relax the muscle in an enlarged prostate, making it easier to urinate. Side-effects commonly include light-headedness, fatigue and nasal congestion.
  • 5 alpha reductase inhibitors: These are intended to shrink the enlarged prostate gland, but can take several months to take effect. Side-effects commonly include erectile dysfunction and decreased libido.

Prostate surgery

When symptoms are severe enough to have an intolerable impact on your life, or cause more serious medical problems, prostate surgery is usually recommended.

  • TURP: The standard operation to treat an enlarged prostate is a Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP). In a TURP procedure, a thin telescope is passed up through the penis, and a hot electrical wire loop is used to cut away pieces of the prostate to widen the urinary channel. This can result in a lot of bleeding, sometimes for many days after the operation.
  • Laser prostate surgery: In recent years, a superior surgical alternative for prostate surgery has been developed. Laser prostate surgery uses a powerful laser to both cut and vaporise parts of the prostate to widen the urinary channel. At the same time, the laser 'welds' the blood vessels shut, minimising bleeding, and resulting in a faster recovery time.

Learn more about superior laser prostate surgery >>