Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition in which the prostate gland is enlarged, usually in two main growth periods of a man’s life. However, the risk of enlarged prostate increases in the second growth phase after 30 years of age. In BPH, the wall around the bladder becomes thicker, and the prostate gland presses against the urethra. Patients suffering from enlarged prostate might lose the ability to empty the bladder leaving the constant urge.
The shrinking of the urethra and urinary retention and inability to empty the bladder will cause numerous other problems with mistakenly assumed cancer but are associated with an enlarged prostate.
To treat the enlarged prostate gland, the urologist will examine the severity of symptoms and signs that affect the quality of life. Usually, the treatment follows;
- Change in lifestyle
- Laser Therapy
- Surgical and other procedures.
- Change in Lifestyle
Initially, doctors suggest making some simple changes in lifestyle to relieve the symptoms and pain.
- Take less or negligible consumption of alcohol, caffeine or fizzy drinks, and artificial sweeteners.
- Drink less fluid in the evening and more in a daytime
- Keep your bladder empty at regular intervals, especially before long journeys.
- Do not strain or push while double voiding.
- Add more fibrous food to your diet.
- If required, then use absorbent pads or sheaths.
- Always take medication as per the direction of the urologist.
- Follow the exercise program like bladder training that helps to control the urge of frequent peeing.
There are two classified medications to treat enlarged prostate when lifestyle changes don’t show any positive results. The most effective medicines are;
Alpha-blockers are used to relax the smooth muscles of the prostate gland, making it easy for the patient to pass the urine. Alfuzosin and Tamsulosin are known to be urine channel openers.
- 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors
5-alpha reductase inhibitors reduce the enlarged prostate gland and minimize the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that plays a significant role in the excess growth of the prostate. Dutasteride and Finasteride are the two most common and effective prostate shrinkers.
- Laser Therapy
Laser therapy has a lower risk of side effects than surgical methods or medications. The treatment helps reduce the size of the prostate by destroying the overgrown prostate tissue through high-energy laser beams. It’s a painless and cost-effective method but should be done by a skilled and trained specialist. However, men who take blood-thinning medications due to diabetes, hypertension, or cardiac issues shouldn’t go for laser therapy without recommendations. There are two primary laser techniques of treating enlarged prostate which include; Ablative and Enucleation procedures.
- Surgical Procedures
Planning a surgical method is the last option to treat the critical conditioned patients; it might be the only option left when other treatments fail to deliver the expected results.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
Generally, after getting treated with TURP, most men get relief from symptoms quickly, while others may feel stronger urine flow for a few hours. In the procedure, the surgeon will insert a lighted scope into the urethra and remove the prostate’s outer layers. A temporary catheter will be placed after the procedure.
- Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)
In TUIP, the surgeon will insert lighted scope to the urethra and make one or two small incisions in the prostate gland that clears the obstacle to passing the urine. TUIP is only recommended to patients whose prostate has turned into a moderately big size.
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)
In this, the surgeon will place a unique electrode through the urethra into the prostate region. This small device will pass the microwave energy, which helps in destroying the inner portion of the enlarged prostate, turning it into a small size. However, the patient might get relief from temporary symptoms and get over urinary problems, but there is risk involved in the reoccurring of the prostate.
- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA)
It’s quite a similar process to TUMT; here, the surgeon will pass a scope into the urethra, which allows placing a few needles into the prostate gland. The needles will carry radio waves that pass heat and vibration to destroy excess prostate tissues and make a clear way for urine flow.
- Prostatic urethral lift (PUL)
Prostatic Urethral Lift is recommended to patients who are concerned about the impact of treatment on ejaculatory issues or erectile dysfunction as the treatment doesn’t have a higher risk of affecting sexual functions than TURP and other methods. In this procedure, the surgeon will use special tags to compress the sides of excess prostate to maintain the urine flow. It gives excellent results on the early symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Regular follow-ups are required depending upon the procedure or technique used in treating the patient’s enlarged prostate. However, the patient will be advised to check the dietary plans and post-surgery medications. Also, it is advisable to limit harsh activities like heavy lifting or excessive exercise for a few weeks.