Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), more commonly known as an enlarged prostate, occurs when the prostate gland enlarges significantly. This condition is common, affecting almost half of all men between age 51 and 60.
BPH does not cause cancer. However, it may occur at the same time as prostate cancer.
As the prostate gland enlarges, it may cause a narrowing of the urethra, the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body. An enlarged prostate may also lead to thickening of the bladder wall, which eventually results in a weak bladder. For many men, BPH can make it difficult to empty all the contents of the bladder.
Why Choose Englewood Health Physician Network for Enlarged Prostate Care?
Englewood Health Physician Network urology specialists use their combined expertise to help diagnose and treat an enlarged prostate. As a patient of Englewood Health Physician Network, you benefit from:
- Convenient access to urology services at multiple Englewood Health Physician Network locations
- Innovative treatments, including medications, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery
- Surgical expertise using the latest techniques, including laser therapies and robotic surgery
Enlarged Prostate (BPH) Risk Factors
There is no single reason a man develops an enlarged prostate. However, doctors believe certain risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing this condition. These risk factors include:
- Age greater than 40 years
- Family history of enlarged prostate
- Medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease
- Being overweight or obese
Enlarged Prostate Symptoms
In most cases, symptoms of an enlarged prostate relate to a blocked urethra or a weak bladder. For many men, these symptoms start gradually and get worse over time. Your symptoms may include:
- Difficulty starting urine flow
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Incontinence (urinary leakage or dribbling)
- Urinating more frequently at night
- Urinary urgency and frequency
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
In some cases, urine may be unusually colored or have a distinct, unusual odor. If you experience any urinary symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for a complete evaluation.
Englewood Health Physician Network’s BPH Treatment Team
Our urologists work together to find the most effective treatments for an enlarged prostate. Our goal is to relieve your symptoms while preserving the functional abilities of the male genitourinary system.
Screening for an Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
If your symptoms suggest BPH (enlarged prostate) or another urological problem, your doctor may recommend several tests to screen for and rule out other medical issues. These tests may include:
- Blood tests: Your doctor may recommend blood tests to check for kidney problems or prostate cancer.
- Digital rectal exam: Your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel your prostate for enlargement.
- PSA antigen test: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels typically increase if you have an enlarged prostate. However, PSA levels may also rise due to prostate cancer, infections, inflammation or recent procedures.
- Urine test: Doctors use urine tests to rule out urinary tract infections.
Diagnosing an Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
Your doctor begins the diagnostic process by discussing your medical history and completing a physical examination. If your doctor suspects BPH (enlarged prostate), he or she may recommend several tests to confirm your diagnosis. These tests may include:
- Post-void residual volume test: This test measures the amount of urine left over in your bladder after you urinate.
- Uroflowmetry: This test measures the strength and speed of your urine flow while you urinate.
- Ultrasound: Using sound waves, ultrasound creates pictures of your prostate gland and helps measure the size.
- Cystoscopy: Doctors insert a thin, flexible tube into your urethra and bladder. The tube, called a cystoscope, has a small light and camera that allows your doctor to view the interior of your urethra and bladder.
- Prostate biopsy: In some cases, the doctor may perform a prostate biopsy to examine your prostate for signs of cancer. Your doctor performs a biopsy by removing a small amount of prostate tissue with a very thin needle. We offer MRI-ultrasound-guided biopsy when appropriate.
- Urodynamic and pressure flow studies: These tests measure bladder pressure and help your doctor determine how well your bladder muscles function. Also, your doctor may recommend that you keep a 24-hour voiding diary. Your doctor may direct you to record the frequency of urination and amount of urine you release.
Treatment for an Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
Englewood Health Physician Network urology specialists provide several BPH (enlarged prostate) treatment options for men living with an enlarged prostate gland. We work hard to relieve your symptoms while preserving the functional abilities of the genitals and urinary tract. Your doctor may recommend enlarged prostate treatment including:
- Lifestyle changes: If you experience mild to moderate symptoms, your doctor may recommend simple lifestyle changes. Avoiding caffeine, reducing your consumption of liquids, and building up strength in your pelvic floor muscles may help alleviate BPH symptoms.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as alpha blockers, may help relax the bladder neck or other medication that shrink or stop the growth of the prostate gland.
- UroLift® system: During this outpatient procedure, we lift (rather than remove) excess prostate tissue so that it no longer blocks the urethra. This provides relief from BPH symptoms without the risk of incontinence or erectile dysfunction. Learn more about UroLift.
- Greenlight laser treatment: During this procedure, doctors access the prostate using a cystoscope threaded through the urethra and into the bladder. Greenlight laser treatment dissolves portions of the prostate gland, allowing urine to flow more easily.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): During this minimally invasive procedure, doctors remove a portion of the prostate gland to allow for better urine flow.
- Robotic prostatectomy: Your doctor may recommend removal of your prostate gland depending on the size. Surgeons usually perform this procedure using surgical robots. Robotic prostate surgery precisely removes prostate tissue while preserving the nerves around the prostate. This helps you avoid potential complications, such as urinary incontinence.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend other surgical procedures, such as transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP), if you have difficulty passing urine. Your Englewood Health Physician Network BPH team determines your treatment based on the severity of your symptoms and your unique personal needs.