The prostate is found in men, below the bladder and in front of the rectum, surrounding the urethra. This gland is responsible for producing semen. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) - also called prostate gland enlargement - is a common condition for older men, causing constriction of the urethra. Beyond blocking the flow of urine out of the urethra, an enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms and may lead to problems with the bladder, urinary tract or kidneys.
It isn't entirely clear what causes the prostate to enlarge, but it is believed to be due to hormonal changes and is more common among men over the age of 50. The signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination
- Weak urine stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
What are the treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia?
There are several non-surgical treatments for prostate gland enlargement, including medications, minimally invasive therapies and surgery. Which method is best advised for you will depend on your specific case. To make an accurate diagnosis, Dr Ridgard may suggest a digital rectal exam (DRE), urinalysis, cystoscopy, blood test and an ultrasound of the prostate.
In cases where the non-surgical methods have failed, and surgery is deemed the most suitable option, Dr Ridgard may perform a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Among other surgeries of the prostate that Dr Ridgard can perform, this treatment has well known long-term outcomes. This surgery is commonly done for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which your urologist will insert a thin tube-like instrument, known as a resectoscope, through the tip of the penis into the urethra. From there, the resectoscope can be used to cut away the prostate tissue that is blocking the urethra with an electrified wire. The blood vessels are then sealed, and tissue is flushed through the urethra.