The enlarged prostate gland affects 13 million American men and affects their quality of life. This blog will discuss the symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland and treatment options that you might consider if you have urinary tract symptoms.
One in every six men above the age of 50 suffers from prostate problems. Prostate is the walnut-shaped gland between urinary bladder and urinary passage. Enlarged prostate is a common problem as men become older. Also, fifty per cent of men over the age of 50 show signs of prostate enlargement. By the age of 70, about 80 per cent of men have enlarged prostates. And while this problem is becoming very common, often men do not identify it as a crisis and approach doctors for help and just believe it is a normal part of the aging process. As a result then, there is an increased risk of kidney failure and prostate cancer.
Men suffering from prostate problems are often not willing to discuss their problems till it reaches a stage where they can’t take the pain and suffering any longer. Early symptoms of the burning sensation, frequent and urgent need to urinate and also pain in the lower abdomen and back are not taken seriously.
The early symptoms can be treated with medicines. Often men do not come in at early stages either because they fail to identify the problem or are not willing to discuss the problems. It is only when they suffer from getting up multiple times each night and frequent urinary tract infections do they visit the doctors.
The level of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) is a blood test done frequently. This test is done to identify the risk of cancer. If the PSA levels are under 4 it is normal and is merely a sign of enlarged prostate. If it is more than four then there is a risk of prostate cancer. Surgery to remove the prostate is not recommended till there are severe complications or there is a high risk of cancer. The first line of treatment is medicines and often patients respond well to it. However, these medications are often associated the sexual side effects such as retrograde ejaculation or dry ejaculation where the semen\sperm goes back into the bladder at the time of orgasm or erectile dysfunction. Minimally invasive surgery can also be done through microwave or laser where high-energy is used to remove prostate tissues. The other procedure or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is to cut the prostate tissues into small pieces through a tube inserted into the penis and remove them from the body. This latter technique requires a general anaesthesia, a catheter for several days after the procedure, and a hospital stay. Nearly all of the men who have the TURP will have sexual side effects following surgery.
The problem of prostate enlargement is common in men and is largely due to the natural aging process. It is not due to any genetic predisposition nor is it related to lifestyle.
Now there is a new treatment option that does not require medication, hospital admission or a catheter after surgery. This is the UroLift which can be accomplished in the doctor’s office or in the one-day stay area of hospital. The UroLift consists of an implant that pins open the prostate gland and makes urination easier and reduces the urinary symptoms. This procedure is covered by most insurance companies and Medicare.
Bottom Line: The enlarged prostate gland affects millions of American men. Help is available. Speak to your doctor to find a solution if you have symptoms of frequent urination, urgency of urination, painful urination, or getting up at night to urinate.