The prostate gland in a man begins to grow in size after 40 years of age quite naturally, and this is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia abbreviated as BPH. Now the problem arises when the enlargement of the prostate is more than normal along with symptoms as mentioned below.
In men, the urine flows through the urethra from the bladder. An abnormally enlarged prostate sometimes blocks the flow of urine through the urethra. The cells of the prostate slowly multiply to cause it to enlarge. This puts pressure on the urethra thereby giving rise to a number of problems, most of which manifest as symptoms.
Common Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate Gland
The condition of an enlarged prostate gives rise to some noticeable symptoms which provide the signs that you need to visit a doctor to get it treated. A weak or slow urinary system is one of the most common symptoms of being affected by an enlarged prostate. This includes urinating more often, an increase in the urgency to urinate, difficulty in starting urination and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying immediately after urinating. At times, it is seen that passing urine becomes very strenuous. All these above symptoms might indicate that there is an enlargement of the prostate gland and medical help should be sought immediately to prevent the condition from worsening.
Steps to Manage an Enlarged Prostrate
• Effective medication is usually the first step in the management of an enlarged prostate gland. Alpha-blockers are drugs that are most commonly used in this situation. These drugs do not reduce the size of the prostate, but they are great in relieving the symptoms to allow free and painless passage of urine. Another group of drugs known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors can help in shrinking an enlarged prostate. The drugs work by reducing the levels of the male hormone called dihydrotestosterone.
• Transurethral Resection of Prostate (TURP): When medical Management fails or not effective in completely relieving patients’ symptoms, surgical options come in to picture. One method which is time tested for the last 50 years is TURP. In this procedure, the part of the prostate, which is causing an obstruction in the flow of urine, is resected endoscopically (meaning through the urethra) and a wide urethral channel is restored for the unobstructed flow of urine.
• Laser Enucleation/Ablation of the prostate: It is also a surgical way like TURP to treat Prostatic obstruction. Only, difference is the use of Various Lasers depending on availability (KTP/Holmium/Thulium) to resect prostate gland. Also, for large prostates(>75gms) laser Enucleation is the current standard of care as blood loss and some side effects with conventional TURP, used to be less.
• Prostatic stents are also sometimes used for the management of the condition of an enlarged prostate. In Patients not fit for surgery, prostatic stents at the site of obstruction are one last modality to rectify obstruction which is not amenable to medical management. The condition of an enlarged prostate gland requires medical attention and treatment for the most effective management, and it is best that a medical professional is consulted as soon as any of the symptoms surface.