Prostate gland enlargement is a common condition that occurs in older men. Also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), it is prevalent amongst most men over 40 years of age. Researchers note that 60% of men at 60 will be suffering from prostate enlargement. Known for causing urinary problems, an enlarged prostate, if left untreated makes the bladder irritable.
Learn about the symptoms and the effective treatment for enlarged prostate gland from our expert, Dr Pari, Consultant Urologist at Fortis Malar Hospital in Chennai. But before we enumerate the symptoms, here’s a lowdown on the prostate. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. It is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the bladder. The prostate gets bigger after men hit 50. BPH is symptomatic only over 50 years in most cases. In BPH, the hyperplastic tissue constricts the urethra and leads to lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as Obstructive and Irritable. These conditions impact the patient’s quality of life radically.
Some of the most common symptoms of prostate enlargement are:
- Hesitant, interrupted, weak stream
- Urgency and leaking or dribbling
- Frequent urination, especially at night
Often, the size of the prostate does not always determine the severity of the symptoms. Some men with greatly enlarged glands have little obstruction and few symptoms while others, whose glands are less enlarged, may have more blockage and greater urinary problems. Around 70% of BPH improves with medical management.
Surgery is recommended if the symptoms are:
- Retention of urine
- Bladder stone
- Recurrent urinary infection
- Persistent blood in the urine
- Renal failure
In the above cases, where symptoms cannot be eased out with medicines, surgical treatment is strongly recommended.
Surgery to cure prostate enlargement has undergone various advancements since 1909 when the first cold-cut prostatic punch surgery was performed. TURP (Transurethral Resection of Prostate), considered as a ‘gold standard’ for BPH treatment, the most effective therapy option till date, also has its set of drawbacks in terms of safety and side effects such as bleeding and complications due to TUR syndrome which is fatal in nature.
Subsequently, usage of LASER technology in saline medium which removes the danger of TUR syndrome has a few repercussions like higher chance of incontinence and a possibility of repeat surgery.
The best alternative to TURP is TURis Plasma Vaporization (Transurethral Resection in Saline) which is cost-effective an has optimal therapeutic outcomes with the lowest possible side effects. TURis rules out the pre and post-surgical complications like bleeding or TUR syndrome. According to Dr Pari, Consultant Urologist, Fortis Malar Hospital, “ TURis offers a minimally invasive alternative to conventional TUR-P and is the safest method in the surgical management of BPH. Further it does so without sacrificing cost-efficiency and providing results as good as TURP.”
Common Myths Associated with Prostate Enlargement Surgery
Myth: Post surgery there will be 100% re-growth of the prostate
Reality: Re-growth is an occurrence only in a small percentage who out live the surgery beyond 20 years or above
Myth: Treating BPH with surgery leads to incontinence
Reality: The possibility of in-continence post surgery for BPH is less than 2%
Early action and better treatment can rule out BPH, the most common urological ailment for men.