Prostate Enlargement at Oregon Urology Clinic
At the Oregon Urology Clinic, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate enlargement, a common condition among aging men. We understand the difficulties and discomforts it can cause and are dedicated to providing comprehensive, personalized care to help you manage this condition effectively.
What is Prostate Enlargement?
Prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a noncancerous increase in the size of the prostate gland. The prostate is a small gland that produces seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm. Located below the bladder, the prostate surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
As the prostate enlarges, it can squeeze and narrow the urethra, leading to changes or problems with urination. BPH is a common condition, especially among older men. In fact, it’s estimated that over half of men in their 60s, and as many as 90% in their 70s and 80s, have symptoms of BPH.
Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement
The symptoms of BPH can vary in severity and may include frequent urination, especially at night; difficulty starting urination; weak urine flow or dribbling; inability to completely empty the bladder; and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Understanding Prostate Enlargement
To understand prostate enlargement, it’s essential to delve deeper into the causes, the progression of the condition, and its potential complications if left untreated.
Causes of Prostate Enlargement
While the exact cause of BPH is not completely understood, changes in male sex hormones as men age may play a role. There’s also a genetic component, with men having a family history of BPH more likely to develop the condition.
Progression of Prostate Enlargement
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs in early puberty when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins in the mid to late 40s and continues during most of a man’s life. It is this second growth phase that can lead to BPH in many older men.
Complications of Prostate Enlargement
Left untreated, BPH can lead to various complications, including urinary tract infections, bladder stones, bladder damage, and kidney damage. It’s important to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing any symptoms of BPH to prevent these complications.
Our Approach to Prostate Enlargement Treatment
At Oregon Urology Clinic, our multidisciplinary team uses the latest techniques and technology to provide the best care for men with prostate enlargement.
Diagnosis of Prostate Enlargement
To diagnose BPH, we start with a thorough medical history and physical examination, including a digital rectal exam to manually assess the size of the prostate.
Diagnostic tests may be recommended, such as a urine test to rule out urinary tract infections, blood tests including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to screen for prostate cancer, and imaging tests such as transrectal ultrasound or MRI. Urodynamic tests may also be conducted to assess how well you empty your bladder and the pressure flow in your bladder.
Treatment Options for Prostate Enlargement
Once we have an accurate diagnosis, we’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Treatment options for BPH can range from lifestyle changes and medications to minimally invasive procedures and surgery, depending on the severity of your symptoms and the size of your prostate.
Watchful Waiting: If your symptoms are mild and not too bothersome, we may suggest watchful waiting. This approach involves regular follow-up visits to monitor your condition.
Lifestyle Changes: Certain changes in your daily habits can help manage BPH symptoms, such as limiting fluid intake before bedtime, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and exercising regularly.
Medications: Various drugs can help relieve BPH symptoms. Alpha blockers can help relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder, making it easier to urinate, while 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can help shrink the prostate.
Minimally Invasive Procedures: These procedures, which require no or only small cuts, use heat to destroy or remove excess prostate tissue. Examples include transurethral needle ablation (TUNA), transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), and water-induced thermotherapy.
Surgery: For more severe cases of BPH, surgery may be the best option. Surgeries can involve removing or destroying excess prostate tissue, or making cuts in the prostate gland to make urination easier. The type of surgery recommended will depend on the size of your prostate and your overall health.
Living with Prostate Enlargement
Living with prostate enlargement can be challenging, but with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, you can manage your symptoms and maintain a high quality of life. At the Oregon Urology Clinic, we are committed to providing our patients with the education, resources, and support they need to effectively manage this condition. Our multidisciplinary team of urologists, nurses, and support staff are here to help you every step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up care.