Treatment for an Enlarged Prostate in Marietta, GA
What is BPH?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that affects more than 50 percent of men over the age of 60. When it occurs, the prostate gland presses against and narrows the urethra making it difficult to urinate. Depending on the symptoms or the severity of one’s benign prostatic hyperplasia, your urologist will prescribe several treatment alternatives.
Dr. Nikolas Symbas is a board-certified urologist who provides comprehensive testing and treatment for BPH at his office in Marietta, Georgia. Learn more about BPH and schedule your appointment today. Give our office a call at (770) 428-4475 or request an appointment through our secure online form.
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and assists in reproduction. As men age, the prostate gets larger, so most older men have BPH to some degree, and about half of men over 75 experience BPH symptoms. BPH is a very minor condition and is not related to prostate cancer, however, symptoms can cause discomfort and be inconvenient.
When the prostate gets enlarged, it begins to put pressure on the bladder and urethra. A lot of the symptoms of BPH tend to relate to urination. Here are the 7 most commons symptoms:
- Difficulty starting urination. The enlarged prostate messes with the pressure of your bladder to pass urine. This can have damaging effects on your kidneys.
- Weak urine stream. As the urethra becomes constrained, urine passes at a much slower rate.
- Urgent need to urinate. You may go from not needing to urinate to suddenly needing to go because of how the bladder gets constrained.
- Issues with sleeping. Pressure from the enlarged prostate can mess with nerve signaling in the middle of the night. This leads to you thinking you have to urinate when you don’t.
- Feeling the inability to empty your bladder. You may not be able to empty your bladder which can lead to UTI and stone issues.
- Urinary tract infection. This is caused by the urine that sits in your bladder which you can’t fully empty, creating an environment for bacteria to thrive.
- Bladder stones. The leftover urine can also crystallize to create bladder stones.
BPH simply can cause these symptoms to happen, but having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have BPH. There are many reasons why you may have urinary issues.
Treatment Options for BPH
Drug therapy is often used to provide relief from symptoms and to help reduce the enlargement of the prostate gland. These are especially helpful where the symptoms are mild. There may be side effects and the drugs must be taken regularly for the rest of one’s life. Additionally, the drugs may lose their effectiveness over time.
The use of surgical intervention is recommended to relieve or eliminate symptoms and when symptoms are severe or other options haven’t worked. Procedures include:
TURP (Transurethral resection of the prostate) – the most common type of BPH surgery that generally provides long-term relief. Side effects can include erectile dysfunction and bleeding.
Prostatectomy – performed to remove large amounts of prostate tissue. This procedure is performed in a hospital and under general anesthesia. As with medication, there can be side effects that most notably can include erectile dysfunction or incontinence.
Minimally Invasive Treatments – by their nature, these treatments are not as invasive as surgery and can be performed in an outpatient environment. These can include:
- Thermography – for treating patients with moderate symptoms. This treatment uses heat to destroy prostate tissue. Microwave energy is a major approach to this treatment.
- Laser Therapy – to treat mild to severe symptoms. This approach most commonly uses GreenLight Laser Therapy together with TURP to provide effectiveness with fewer side effects.
- Urethral Stent – for use with patients who are not candidates for surgery. It involves placing a mesh tube to hold the urethra open at the point where it is obstructed by the prostate gland.
BPH Treatment in Marietta, Georgia
Treatment entirely depends on the case. Very minor cases may just need lifestyle changes. Beyond that there’s medication and in some cases, surgery options may be available. Keep in mind, there is no permanent cure for BPH, but treatment options are meant to lower the symptoms caused by BPH to help your quality of life.