What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlarged prostate gland. Normally the size of a walnut, the prostate gland sits below the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube that moves urine from the bladder out of the body).
BPH is not cancer and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer.
Who is at risk?
The likelihood of developing an enlarged prostate increases with age. More than 50% of all men in their 60s and as many as 90% aged 70-89 years old have some symptoms of BPH.
- The risk of BPH increases with age after 40, with more than 50% of men in their 60s reporting prostate problems.
- Black and Hispanic men are at a higher risk.
- BPH runs in the family. Men with male relatives who have enlarged prostates are more at risk for developing symptoms.
- Conditions associated with heart disease, like diabetes, are also linked to BPH.
- Obesity increases the risk of BPH, while exercise has been shown to lower your risk.
Signs and symptoms of BPH
When you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the prostate gland gets bigger and may compress the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder and then out of the body). As this happens, the bladder wall becomes thickened and irritable, and begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine. The enlarged prostate can also push up against the bladder.
BPH can lead to problems associated with lower urinary tract symptoms that may include:
- An urgent need to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination—especially at night (nocturia)
- Inability to urinate or straining while urinating
- Weak urine stream
- A urine stream that starts and stops (intermittence)
- Unable to empty your bladder completely
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Dribbling at the end of urinating
If you’re experiencing symptoms of BPH—or are finding they interfere with normal sleeping patterns, daily activities, or maintaining your quality of life—contact your primary care physician or urologist immediately.
Left untreated, BPH could lead to health complications such as kidney stones, infection, lack of bladder control (neurogenic bladder), and complete bladder outlet obstruction or blockage.
If you and your healthcare provider determine that you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it’s a good idea to discuss the various treatment options available, including prostatic artery embolization (PAE).
Digital Rectal Exam
n this exam, your urologist will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check the prostate for enlargement.
Your doctor may take a sample of your urine to check for signs of infection.
Your specialist may order blood tests to check for kidney problems.
If your symptoms are not severe, your urologist may recommend regular checkups and watchful monitoring of your BPH.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to make urination easier or to shrink the prostate.
If you have more severe symptoms, medicine hasn’t helped your symptoms, or the BPH is causing problems with your urinary tract, bladder, or kidney, your urologist may recommend a surgical procedure to reduce the enlarged prostate.
Prostate Artery Embolization
UHealth has one of the few interventional radiologists in the U.S. offering Prostate Artery Embolization, a minimally invasive treatment.
HOLEP: UHealth has one of the few urologists in the U.S. offering a minimally invasive treatment for BPH. This treatment, holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) provides long lasting relief for urinary problems from BPH. HoLEP is also safer and easier on the patients who have failed prior traditional BPH treatment, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
Why Choose UHealth?
UHealth has one of the few urologists in the U.S. offering HoLEP, a minimally invasive treatment for BPH. This treatment, holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) provides long lasting relief for urinary problems from BPH. HoLEP is also safer and easier on the patients who have failed prior traditional BPH treatment, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
Advanced research in men’s health. Our urologists are dedicated to men’s health and conduct innovative research into many conditions. Our expert team has helped develop new minimally invasive and robotic surgical procedures to treat cancers, incontinence, and more. We give you access to leading-edge treatments and clinical trials that aren’t widely available. In addition, we have established the eighth fellowship program in the nation dedicated solely to teaching physicians how to care for men’s health.
Innovative, expert urology care at the Desai Sethi Urology Institute. Our team of urology experts delivers advanced care for all urologic conditions. We use the latest research and the least invasive procedures to help you feel better and recover more quickly. Our experienced urologists design a personalized treatment plan to give you the best possible results.
Leaders in robotic surgery treatment. We have some of the world’s most experienced robotic surgeons for urologic procedures. In fact, doctors come from all over the world to learn at our Urology Robotic Program — the #1 ranked program in South Florida. The University of Miami Health System was the first academic medical center in the world to get the da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system and has completed more than 5,000 robotic surgeries — procedures that offer less pain and scarring and a faster recovery.
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