An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) is a common health problem for men over the age of 50. It can cause urinary symptoms such as difficulty starting urination, weak stream, frequent urination, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for those experiencing the discomfort of an enlarged prostate.
Some of these treatments include lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery. Each of these treatments has its advantages and disadvantages, and the decision of which option to choose will depend on the severity of the symptoms and the individual’s health status. In this article, we will explore the different treatment options for enlarged prostate and discuss how to decide which one is best for you.
Lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and slow down the progression of the disease. In fact, some lifestyle changes can be as effective as medications for relieving symptoms.
Some of the most important lifestyle changes for people with an enlarged prostate are drinking plenty of water, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, lifting weights, and regularly exercising.
Medications are the most commonly used treatment for an enlarged prostate. Doctors may recommend different types of drugs such as alpha-blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, and anti-inflammatories to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and to slow down the progression of the disease. Alpha-blockers medications (such as doxazosin, terazosin, silodosin) relax the smooth muscles of the prostate and bladder, which can help to reduce the discomfort of an enlarged prostate and urinary frequency.
5-Alpha reductase inhibitors (such as finasteride, dutasteride) can help to reduce the amount of prostate growth by reducing the levels of a hormone that can stimulate the growth of the prostate. Anti-inflammatories (such as phenazopyridine, tolterodine, oxybutynin) can help to relieve the pain caused by an enlarged prostate and reduce bladder spasms.
Minimally Invasive Therapies
These therapies are intended to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate by opening up the urethra and reducing the pressure on the bladder. There are two types of minimally invasive therapies, endoscopic therapy and transurethral therapy. Endoscopic therapy involves the insertion of a small instrument (endoscope) into the urethra.
It is used to apply heat and energy to the prostate to shrink the enlarged prostate. Transurethral therapy (also called transurethral microwave thermotherapy or TUMT) is a type of treatment that uses heat to shrink the prostate.
Surgery is a common treatment for an enlarged prostate. It is essential to find an experienced and renowned prostate treatment specialist when looking at surgery as an option. Some of the most commonly performed surgical procedures for an enlarged prostate include Open Prostatectomy, Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP), Laser Prostate Surgery, Robotic Prostatectomy (Endoscopic Robotic Prostatectomy – ERP), and Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT). Open prostatectomy is an invasive procedure that involves surgical removal of the prostate gland. It is often used as a treatment for an enlarged prostate that does not respond to medications.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is another surgical procedure that involves the surgical removal of the prostate tissue by creating a surgical cut inside the urethra (urethra). Laser prostate surgery is a surgical procedure commonly performed in an outpatient setting. Endoscopic robotic prostatectomy (ERP) is a surgical procedure where the surgeon accesses the prostate via the urethra. During the surgical procedure, the surgeon inserts a probe inside the urethra, which allows him to see the prostate. The probe has a resectoscope on its tip, allowing the surgeon to make a small cut in the prostate and remove the excess tissue. Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) is a newer minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat an enlarged prostate.
Deciding on the Best Treatment Option
Before deciding on a treatment option, it is important to keep in mind that there is no cure for an enlarged prostate. Although many treatments can help to relieve the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.