Approximately 50% of men will have an enlarged prostate by the age of 65. Medically termed Benign Prosatic Hypertrophy (BPH) the enlargement can cause a number of difficulties, but does not necessarily lead to problems. Difficulties might include a slow urinary stream, hesitation before starting to urinate or dribbling after finishing, incomplete bladder emptying, a sense of urgency when needing to pass urine or passing urine frequently, and having to get up at night to pass urine. Less common difficulties might include blood in the urine or semen, both of which need reporting urgently to your Doctor, as they can be caused by other, more serious conditions.
If you are worried that you might be suffering from this condition, it is worth discussing your problems with a Doctor.
Treatment of an enlarged prostate depends on the severity of urinary difficulties that it causes. A medical assessment will be required to diagnose the problem and determine severity. Enlargement can be treated in a number of ways, the simplest of which involves lifestyle changes, paying attention to when and how much fluid is drunk. Most men that require treatment on top of this can be managed with tablets, but in more severe cases (and especially if it is not possible to pass urine at all) surgery may be required. Surgery is usually performed endoscopically (through the penis) and involves removing part of the prostate. This can be done using electricity (TURP) or with a laser. There are a number of new surgical and non-surgical procedures that may be considered. We can offer Urolift®, which one new surgical technique and prostate artery embolisation, which is an interventional radiology technique. These procedures may have less side effects than either TURP or laser surgery, but are not suitable for all patients. Surgery is usually very effective at improving urinary difficulties caused by prostatic enlargement but does have more side effects than medication; the choice of treatments is best discussed on an individual basis with a Urologist.