Advanced, Customized Care for Enlarged Prostate (BPH) in Men
The prostate gland, located just below the bladder, continues to grow throughout a man’s lifetime. Eventually, it may get so large that it starts to squeeze the urethra - the tube that runs from the bladder to the penis - and the man may be diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.
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More than half of all men over the age of 60 will develop benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH and experience symptoms such as:
- Frequent and/or urgent urination
- Waking up at night to urinate (nocturia)
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak urine stream
- Dribbling when urinating
Although not life-threatening, if left untreated, an enlarged prostate can lead to urinary incontinence, recurring urinary tract infections and/or damage to the kidneys or bladder. In addition, there can be a significant reduction in quality of life if the disorder and its symptoms are not managed.
The urology experts at University Hospitals can help. We will first perform diagnostic tests that may include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, ultrasound scan, cystoscopy, and a rectal exam to determine if there is a risk for prostate cancer. If a diagnosis of BPH is confirmed, our physicians will explain your medical and surgical treatment options with the goal of reducing or eliminating your symptoms.
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Nonsurgical Treatments for BPH
A number of medications can be prescribed to relieve symptoms of BPH. However, these medications may cause sexual side effects, such as ejaculation problems and erectile dysfunction. For some men, this may not be a major issue, but for others, preserving their sexual function is a high priority.
Other nonsurgical therapies include transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) and water-induced thermotherapy. Both use heat to destroy prostate tissue and reduce or resolve urinary symptoms. For some men, mild cases of BPH may be treated with lifestyle changes, including avoiding or limiting fluids at night and special exercises that can help improve bladder control.
If medications and/or thermotherapies are unsuccessful, or if the patient is unable or unwilling to tolerate the side effects of medication, surgery may be recommended.
Prostate Surgery to Treat Nocturia and Other Symptoms of BPH
University Hospitals Urology Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive and traditional surgery options to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Our minimally invasive procedures typically result in less pain, a shorter recovery time and may allow men to stop taking BPH medications. Your surgical treatment options at UH include:
- UROLIFT® Procedure Offers Fast Relief without Sexual Side Effects
A minimally invasive procedure with very few side effects, UroLift clears the blockage in the urine channel by implanting a device that pulls the prostate away from the urethra on both sides. This widens the urethra and improves urine flow. Typically done in the doctor’s office, the entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes and typically requires very little sedation.
Studies have shown that the procedure is safe, effectively relieves symptoms with minimal side effects and does not affect sexual function. Patients are typically back to their normal routines within a day or two.
UH is one of just a handful of hospitals in Northeast Ohio that performs the UroLift procedure.
- GREEN LIGHT™ LASER THERAPY Rapidly Restores Urinary Function
A minimally invasive procedure, Green Light Therapy uses a laser to remove excess prostate tissue. During the procedure, the tissue blocking your prostate is rapidly heated and vaporized. Natural urine flow is rapidly restored with most patients experiencing a dramatic improvement within 24 hours of the procedure. Typically, the procedure is performed as a same-day surgery. Although an overnight stay at the hospital may be recommended for some patients, many men can go home the same day without a urinary catheter.
Green Light Laser Therapy offers low complication rates, less bleeding and significantly faster recovery times for most patients. In addition, the procedure is safe for patients who are taking blood thinners and those who have implanted dvices such as a pacemaker or defibrillator.
- TURP Procedure Can Offer Complete Relief from BPH Symptoms
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a traditional surgical procedure, also known as prostatectomy, that removes all or part of the prostate gland and has been used for many years to treat BPH. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a special tool called a resectoscope into the urethra through which the prostate gland can be visualized. The prostate tissue is then removed using a heated wire (electrocautery).
TURP is a major surgery and most patients will go home with a catheter. Full recovery can take from 3 - 6 weeks but the majority of men will be completely cured of BPH symptoms. Your surgeon will advise you when it is safe to return to normal activities.
- HoLEP Procedure Has Minimal Impact on Sexual Function
Another minimally invasive surgery for enlarged prostate, holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) is a safe and highly effective procedure that uses a laser to separate and remove the prostate tissue that is causing urination problems, resulting in improved function and urine flow. It can be used to treat prostates of any size, and offers several other advantages including faster recovery, fewer complications, little impact on the ability to achieve an erection and a lowered chance of the need for future surgeries. University Hospitals is currently the only facility in the region to offer HoLEP, and has performed more than 1,000 of these procedures.
- Robotic Prostate Surgery
UH Urology Institute surgeons have the ability to use robotic surgery technology to perform prostatectomy and simple prostatectomy surgeries, as well as lymph node dissection surgery to remove lymph nodes if necessary. With the da Vinci robotic surgery system, our surgeons are able to manipulate the system’s advanced set of surgical tools to remove all or part of the prostate gland with greater precision and range of motion. Robotic surgery has many advantages over traditional surgery, including fewer and smaller incisions, less blood loss and lower risk of complications. Patients who undergo a robotic prostatectomy also may experience shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries and better outcomes.