Archive for the ‘BPH’ Category

Don’t Fight the Nite With Prostate Enlargement

February 6, 2017

 

Nearly every man over the age of 50 experiences symptoms of prostate gland enlargement.  The symptoms are going to the bath room frequently, poor force of the urine stream, dribbling after urination and perhaps the most troublesome of all is getting up at night to urinate.  Every night, between 12 and 15 million men in the U.S. are likely to have loss of sleep because of an enlarged prostate gland.  This article will discuss the purpose of the prostate gland and what treatment options are available for this common condition.

The prostate gland is typically the size and shape of a walnut and is located in the lower part of the pelvis, below the bladder. It envelops the urethra, the tube through which urine flows from the bladder out of the body. When the prostate gland grows bigger – which happens to virtually every man as he ages – it can compress the urethra and make it difficult to pass urine.

Benign enlargement of the prostate gland does not cause prostate cancer or affect a man’s ability to have, but if the symptoms bother you, seek treatment. If left untreated, BPH can lead to urinary retention and cause bladder, urinary tract and kidney problems.

Coping Techniques.

Try behavioral changesPerhaps the easiest suggestion is limiting your fluid intake at night and not drinking anything for two hours before bedtime.  I also caution to decrease those foods and beverages that are diuretics (and will therefore prompt you to urinate more), such as coffee, caffeinated tea, herbal tea, lemon juice, chocolate, pineapple, grapes and cherries.

If those behavioral changes don’t help much, consider medication. A change in habits will help some but not all men with BPH, and for those whose symptoms aren’t relieved, medication is an option.  The most commonly used medications are alpha blockers, (Flomax) which can relax the muscle at the base of the bladder and the prostate, and 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, (Proscar) which can, over a period of months, shrink the prostate.  Like nearly all medications, they do have side effects.  For example, alpha blockers can cause the man taking them to faint and by decreasing his blood pressure when moving from laying down to standing upright quickly.  Alpha blockers also can cause sexual side effects like decreasing the volume of the ejaculate or having no ejaculation at all.  The 5 alpha reductase inhibitors can cause sexual dysfunction, such as impotence. Some physicians are also prescribing tadalafil, commonly known by its brand name Cialis, which is often marketed as a drug that treats erectile dysfunction, but can also help to relax the muscles in the prostate gland and thus relieve urinary symptoms.

If behavioral changes and medication don’t work or cease to be effective, surgical procedures are an option.  Until recently the two most common procedures are a transurethral resection or TURP, in which an instrument is inserted up the urethra to cut out the part of the prostate that’s blocking urine flow, and a laser procedure, which vaporizes the tissue obstructing the urethra. Both procedures are typically effective but carry the risk of side effects such as erectile dysfunction. Other, newer procedures, such as the UroLift System, in which a urologist places tiny implants in the prostate to increase the opening of the urethra and allow for greater urine flow.  This procedure can be accomplished in the outpatient or ambulatory treatment center or even in the doctor’s office.  The advantage of the UroLift is that there are no sexual side effects and the results are noted almost immediately after the procedure.

Bottom Line:  The enlarged prostate gland affects millions of American men.  It significantly impacts a man’s quality of life.  Help is available.  Speak to your doctor.

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The Care and Feeding of the Enlarged Prostate Gland

October 21, 2016

If you are a man, then you have a prostate gland.  If you have a prostate gland, then you are likely to be one of the 14 million American men who experience bothersome symptoms beginning around age 50.  This article will discuss the diagnosis of the enlarged prostate gland and what are some of the available treatment options that can reduce the symptoms associated with this common condition.  It is a walnut sized organ at the base of the bladder and surrounds the urethra or tube that is in the penis and transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.  It is common and even normal for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man’s life, the enlargement doesn’t usually cause problems until middle age or around 50. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have symptoms of BPH.

The prostate gland encircles the urethra like a donut, so problems with urination can occur if the gland restricts urine flow through the urethra. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose.

The following changes occur over a period of time.

  • The bladder wall becomes thicker and will contract without the owner’s permission causing urgency of urination.
  • The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.
  • Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself. Urine remains in the bladder.

The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.

Some problems associated with BPH are

  • Urinating more often during the day
  • Need to urinate frequently during the night
  • Urinary urgency, which means the urge to urinate is so strong and sudden, you may not make it to the toilet in time and soil your clothing-very embarrassing!
  • The urine stream is slow to start
  • Dribbling after urination
  • A sensation that the bladder isn’t emptied after urination
  • Lack of force to the urine flow, which makes aiming more difficult
  • The sensation of needing to go again a few minutes after urinating

Diagnoses

You may first notice symptoms of BPH yourself, or your doctor may find that your prostate is enlarged during a routine check-up. The doctor can determine the size of the prostate gland during a physical examination.

The diagnosis is made with several of the following tests:

Symptom Score

This is a brief questionnaire that provides a numerical value to the symptoms associated with urination.  The higher the score (maximum is 25), the more symptoms a man has and the more likely he will want to have treatment for relief of his symptoms.

Urinalysis

A urine sample is taken to look for signs of blood and infection.

Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)

Your doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the condition of the prostate that lies close to the rectal wall. If your doctor feels something suspicious such as a lump or bump, further tests will be carried out. Other tests are needed to enable a more accurate diagnosis. 

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test

A blood sample is taken by your doctor to check for prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is produced by the prostate and is increased by cellular abnormalities within the prostate.

As men get older the prostate gland grows and so the PSA is likely to rise. A high PSA may indicate some type of prostate disease. The level can be raised due to inflammation of the prostate (Prostatitis) and enlargement of the prostate gland (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH).

Urine flow rate

This test consists of a man urinating in private over a funnel which measures the volume of urine and the time that it takes to empty the bladder.  The urine flow rate is expressed in milliliters per second.  Normal is greater than 15 ml\second.

Urodynamics

Sometimes the doctor will ask a patient to urinate into a special device that measures how quickly the urine is flowing. A reduced flow often suggests BPH.

Imaging studies

The ultrasound examination evaluates the size of the prostate gland which often determines the treatment option which is best for your situation.  It is a painless examination consisting of the insertion of a small pencil-size probe into the rectum and uses sound waves to determine the appropriate treatment for prostate gland enlargement.

Cystoscopy

In this exam, the doctor inserts a small tube through the opening of the urethra in the penis. This procedure is done after a solution numbs the inside of the penis so all sensation is lost. The tube, called a cystoscope, contains a lens and a light system, which help the doctor see the inside of the urethra and the bladder. This test allows the doctor to determine the size of the gland and identify the location and degree of the obstruction.

Treatment options

  1. Watchful waiting-If the person has BPH but is not bothered by the symptoms, the patient and the doctor may decide to simply wait and monitor the condition regularly. This option requires regular check-ups with the doctor – usually once a year – to see if the condition is getting any worse.
  1. Drug therapyYour doctor may advise drug therapy which aims at shrinking the enlarged prostate. The doctor will select the medication that best suits the condition, keeping in mind the person’s general health condition, medical history, medications taken for other conditions and quality of life considerations.
  1. Minimally invasive treatments-The prostatic urethral lift or UroLift is an implant of several polyester sutures connected by two small metallic tabs that opens the prostate gland located in the urethra and improves the flow of urine thus decreasing the symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland. UroLift has been approved by the FDA to relieve the symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland. There have been nearly xx thousand of men who have had the treatment which reports favorable results up to 4 years. Most insurance companies will now pay for the UroLift procedure 
  1. Surgery-Surgery is another option for the treatment of BPH. The most common type of surgery for BPH is TURP (Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate). This procedure requires an admission to the hospital, a general anesthesia, a urinary catheter for several days, and the risk of sexual problems afterwards.

Bottom Line:  Nearly all men will experience the problems associated with the enlarged prostate gland.  The enlarged prostate gland impacts a man’s quality of life.  Help is available and nearly all men can be helped.  If you have symptoms associated with urination, speak to your doctor.

Complications of the Large Prostate Gland

October 21, 2016

 

The most common condition affecting millions of middle age American men is benign enlargement of the prostate gland.  This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, which is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. For reasons not entirely known, the prostate increases in size around age 50.  As the prostate gland grows, the gland compresses the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Over time, the growth causes the urethra to become so compressed that it becomes difficult for men to empty the bladder.   The symptoms associated with enlarged prostate gland include frequency of urination, urgency of urination, dribbling after urination and even the complete inability to urinate or allowing only a small amount of urine to exit the bladder.

Bladder stones are formed when crystals inside the bladder collect together and harden to form a stone.  They often occur when the bladder is not fully emptying, so the urine that is left behind remains in the bladder for long time and coalesce and form stones.

Symptoms of bladder stones include frequent urination throughout the day, lower abdominal pain, a burning sensation when urinating, urine that appears cloudy or contains blood, and urgency of urination.

Urinary retention is the inability to fully empty your bladder. Acute urinary retention is a medical emergency, so it does require immediate medical attention.

There are two main types of urinary retention.  If there is an obstruction such as a bladder or kidney stone, then urine cannot properly be released, resulting in urine remaining in the bladder after urination. In this case, urinary retention can be life threatening, and you will require immediate medical intervention and the insertion of a catheter to relieve the blockage.

The most common cause of acute urinary retention is the enlarged prostate which compresses the urethra or the tube from the bladder that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Non-obstructive urinary retention is caused by the weakening of the bladder muscles or nerve problems disrupting the communication between the bladder and the brain. Causes of non-obstructive urinary retention include stroke, pelvic injury or trauma, nerve diseases, impaired muscle or nerve function, and spinal cord injury that affects the nerves to the bladder.

Chronic urinary retention mainly affects men as a result of prostate enlargement. Although the condition is not life threatening, it can lead to permanent kidney damage. In chronic urinary retention, a man is unable to fully void their bladder, so urine stays within the bladder, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections.

Symptoms of chronic urinary retention include urinary frequency, urgency and hesitancy, nighttime urination, symptoms similar to a urinary tract infection, and lethargy and emotional irritability.

Urinary tract infections are often associated with urinary retention. Symptoms include cloudy or foul-smelling urine, blood in urine, difficulty urinating, pain while urinating, nausea, vomiting, shaking and chills, and fever.

Hematuria, or blood in urine, is frequently a benign condition, but there may be a risk of a more serious condition, too. For men with documented blood in the urine which is confirmed by a urine examination, you will will need some additional testing such as urine culture, a radiologic examination of the kidneys, and a cystoscopy or a look in the bladder with a lighted tube.

As the bladder retains urine, it continues to stretch. Excess stretching weakens the bladder muscles, making it impossible for the bladder to contract.  If this is left untreated, then permanent damage to the bladder muscle will occur and even if the obstruction is relieved the bladder muscle cannot contract and the man may be left with a permanent urinary catheter or may have to catherize himself several times a day.

Bottom Line: Every man over age 50 should see his doctor every year to check his prostate and to obtain a PSA blood test which is a screening test for prostate cancer.  Nearly every man can be treated with either medications or minimally invasive procedures that can often be done in the doctor’s office.

Options for Treating The Enlarged Prostate Gland

November 16, 2015

For reasons not entirely known, the prostate gland starts to increase in size around age 50 and causes symptoms of difficulty with urination. The prostate gland is a walnut sized organ at the base of the bladder and surrounds the tube, the urethra, which transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When the prostate gland grows, it compresses the urethra making urination difficult.

By the time men are in their 40s or 50s, many are already experiencing symptoms, such as having to get up at night to urinate. Into their 60s and 70s, they may have to get up two or three times.

In addition, an enlarged prostate can also result in other urinary symptoms such as having to go frequently during the day, having a weak stream or having to go urgently.

The “gold standard” is called a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), where an instrument is inserted up the urethra to remove prostate tissue that is blocking urine flow. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as a “roto-rooter” procedure. The purpose of the TURP to carve out the inner portion of the prostate and leave just the shell. The procedure allows a much stronger stream and men who have it will have to urinate much less frequently.

However, the procedure requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay. While it does not usually interfere with the ability to have an erection, more than half of those who have it will experience “retrograde ejaculation,” meaning that no fluid comes out of the penis during orgasm. Instead, the fluid goes into the bladder where it is eliminated during urination. Men will also have to wear a catheter for a few days after the procedure and will require several months before they can resume all activities including sexual intimacy and heavy lifting.

Similar procedures known as GreenLight Laser Treatment, which uses a high-energy laser to vaporize prostate tissue, and holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP), which also uses a laser to destroy prostate tissue, are also available. They are pretty much the same in terms of outcomes. They just use different energy sources.

Now there is a new treatment, the UroLift, that doesn’t remove any tissue but relieves the compression on the prostate gland making urnation easier and reducing the symptoms. The procedure can be done in the office setting, does not require any catheter, and does not cause any sexual side effects or retrograde ejaculation.

Bottom Line: Many middle aged men have sympotms related to the enlarged prostate gland. There are multiple treatment options and men can plan to resume their activities after treatment for benign prostate disease.

If you are 50 or older and you have any of these symptoms and they are bothersome, talk to your doctor.

 

 

 

 

Benign Enlargement of the Prostate Gland Affects Millions of U.S. Men-New Treatment With Prostate Urethral Lift

November 11, 2015

Benign enlargement of the prostate gland affects nearly millions American men. In the past the procedure of choice was a surgical procedure, transurethral resection of the prostate gland, which is often referrd to as the rotor router procedure. Now a first line treatment is the prostate urethral lift PUL, is a new alternative. This blog will discuss the PUL, how it works, and what are the risks and complications of the procedure.

Lack of awareness about a common health condition may be causing millions of men to suffer unnecessarily. Benign prostate enlargement (BPE), affects more than 37 million men in the United States alone. Unfortunately, many men postpone treatment for this disorder because of concerns about side effects such as problems with ejacualtion and impotence or erectile dysfunctihowever, their concerns may be alleviated with additional information.BPE occurs when the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. Symptoms include sleepless nights and urinary problems, and can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life.

About one in four men experience BPH-related symptoms by age 55 and, by age 70, over 80 percent of men suffer from BPH. Most men blame their symptoms on aging. They may not be aware of the high prevalence of BPH or the available medical or surgical treatment options. There is a high risk to delaying treatment and so men should proactively talk with their doctors.

The prostatic urethral lift is a minimally invasive procedures the risks are low compared to medications or other surgeries. BPE can have a significant impact on quality of life for men as well as their partners, and can place limitations on their activities. For example, the need for frequent urination may make travel, sleep and sports activities difficult. We hope that with greater awareness of symptoms and treatment options, men will take a more active role in treating BPE, and live life with greater vitality.

A recent U.S. survey of more than 1,000 men over the age of 50 demonstrated that concerns about the risk of side effects, such as loss of sexual function or urinary incontinence, would cause a majority to postpone or avoid treatment of BPH.

This is unfortunate because, not only is early treatment important to alleviate symptoms and stop the
disorder from worsening, but a new minimally invasive treatment option is available that does not require cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue, and as such does not result in loss of sexual function or urinary incontinence.

The survey results mirror other research and anecdotal evidence from patients that show that men
rarely mention their BPE-like symptoms.

The more recent survey, which was completed in October 2015, demonstrated that:
• A majority of men (61 percent) would postpone treatment for BPH because of the risk of sexual
• side effects or urinary incontinence from traditional treatments
• Eighty-four percent of respondents indicated they would be more open to seeking treatment for
• BPE if the treatment options available held less of a risk of impotence or incontinence
• Nearly half of the men surveyed (44 percent) were not aware that BPH is more common than
• prostate cancer. In fact, BPE impacts more than 12 times as many men in the U.S. as prostate cancer
• Concerns over surgical treatments was high among respondents, with 83 percent stating they
• were interested in a treatment option that could improve BPE symptoms without cutting, heating or
• removing prostate tissue1

In the past,mMedication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of medication treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options can be very effective in relieving symptoms, they can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).

About NeoTract
The PUL is a minimally invasive and clinically effective device that address unmet needs for men with BPE. The PUL is a minimally invasive permanent implant system that treats symptoms while preserving normal sexual function.

The UroLift System consists of a delivery device and tiny permanent implants. FDA cleared in 2013, this
unique technology works by directly opening the urethra with tiny implants that hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, like tiebacks on a window curtain. No cutting, heating, or ablating tissue is involved, making the UroLift System the first and only BPE treatment that does not remove prostate tissue and does not negatively impact a man’s sexual function.

4 pins in the prostate open the gland and allow improvement in urinary symptoms

4 pins in the prostate open the gland and allow improvement in urinary symptoms

I have done over 40 cases using the PUL and none of the men have experienced any sexual side effects from
the procedure. Most men can have the procedure in the office setting. They can leave the office without
a catheter and have marked improvement immediately or in a few days. The side effects are frequency of
urination and small amount of bleeding which only last for a short period of time. Research has demonstrated
that the procedure lasts for at least three years.

Most insurance companies, including Medicare, pay for the PUL procedure.

If you would like to more about the PUL, go to my website, http://www.neilbaum.com, or go to YouTube and use the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEJsJ3E0pJI

Bottom Line: BPE is a common condition affects millions of American men. A first line treatment that is effect is the prostate urethral lift. Give my office a call if you have
any questions.

Prostate Cancer prevention-Diet and Exercise

September 19, 2015

I am often asked what can patients do to prevent prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and is the second leading cause of death from all cancers in the U.S. following lunch cancer, which is the most deadly cancer in men. In fact, half of men in their 80s have prostate cancer. While this may sound scary, the good news is that prostate cancer is usually slow growing and if caught early on, can be treated and stopped.

The truth is that prostate cancer is regarded as one of the most curable cancers, if caught early.

Signs of prostate cancer

Let me start that from the onset, early prostate cancer may have NO signs and NO symptoms.

If prostate cancer is advanced or spread beyond the prostate gland the signs may include:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in your urine or semen
  • Pain in your lower back, hips or thighs
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Elevated prostate-specific antigen test (PSA)

You may assume your urinary symptoms are a sign of a bladder infection or a kidney problem, but get it checked out. This can be especially true for younger men. While most cases of prostate cancer occur in men over 50, if you have difficulty starting a urine stream, have weak flow or have to go frequently, especially at night, get it checked out. It may not always be prostate cancer but does require an evaluation by a urologist.

Trouble urinating might simply indicate that your prostate is enlarged due to benign or non-cancerous causes. Having an enlarged prostate is not a sign of prostate cancer nor does it increase your risk of getting it.

Annual prostate screenings

Prostate cancer screenings work, especially for men ages 50 to 69. In recent years the formal recommendation for prostate screenings has changed. The U.S. Preventative Task Force on Health now says annual prostate screenings are not advised across the board, and are rather an item to be discussed and decided between a patient and doctor on an individual basis. If you have a family history, it’s a good idea to get checked regularly.

During a prostate screening, the doctor will test your PSA level, which is a simple blood test which measures a protein produced by your prostate gland. The higher the number, the greater chance you might have prostate cancer. (You should know that not all elevated PSAs point to cancer — some are caused by infections and even an enlarged prostate gland can elevate the PSA test.) Then, a physical exam is completed.

Preventing prostate cancer

Some risk factors for prostate cancer can’t be prevented, such as genetics and race. If you have a relative such as father, uncle, brother, or cousin with prostate cancer, then your risk is higher for prostate cancer. Also, African-American men have a higher incidence of prostate cancer and need to be screened at an earlier age.

While one in six men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at some time in their lives, that number increases to one in three for African Americans. Also, if you have a first degree relative who had prostate cancer — a dad or brother — your risk is doubled or tripled.

There are things you can do to prevent prostate cancer and cancer in general. Did you know that exercising three hours a week has been shown to greatly reduce your cancer risk overall? Eating well has similar results.

Live a healthy lifestyle: eat well, watch your weight and exercise frequently. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you’ll decrease your risk for prostate cancer and other cancers as well.

 

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer is a common medical condition. Leading a health lifestyle with frequent exercise and a good diet can decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Bee Venom Takes the Sting Out of An Enlarged Prostate Gland

August 3, 2015

Around age 50 most men will develop a benign enlargement of the prostate gland that causes urinary symptoms such as getting up at night to urinate, dribbling after urination, frequency of urination, urgency of urination, and rarely urinary retention. About three of four men in their 60s have the condition, and it affects more than 90 percent of those over the age of 80. The cause is not known but may be a result of hormonal changes in middle aged men. The treatment consists of watchful waiting if the symptoms aren’t impacting a man’s quality of life, medication or minimally invasive surgery, such as microwave, lasers, and the new treatment, UroLift, which uses pins to open the obstructing prostate tissue. Now bee venom is being evaluated as a treatment option.

Bee venom has long been used in folk medicine to treat immune-related diseases, such as arthritis. In recent decades, researchers have been exploring its use in fighting many conditions, including cancer. Researchers in South Korea have found still another use for the venom: A study found that the venom from honey bees may be as effective in treating enlarged prostates as conventional drugs.

An animal study was conducted with rats. One group was treated with bee venom, and the second was treated with the drug finasteride (Proscar), which is commonly used to treat enlarged prostate. The third group got no additional treatment. A fourth group of uncastrated rats received placebo shots and served as a control.

Researchers found that the prostates of rats castrated and then given testosterone were significantly larger — 1.8 times — than the control rats. But the prostates of rats given either bee venom or finasteride were much smaller: When compared to control rats, the rats given bee venom were only 1.1 times larger, and those treated with finasteride were 1.3 times larger.

The research was published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Saw Palmetto for the Enlarged Prostate Gland-What You Need to Know

January 23, 2015

Over 30 million Americans suffer from the enlarged prostate gland. The symptoms include getting up at night to urinate, frequency of urination, and dribbling after urination. Constantly rushing to the bathroom is a common complaint among the millions of men who develop an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This blog will discuss the treatment with the herbal product, saw palmetto.

Saw palmetto has been used to treat urologic conditions since the days of the ancient Egyptians. It is a common non-medical approach to the enlarged prostate gland.

Here are five reasons you should skip saw palmetto and head to the doctor for advice instead.
1. It’s no better than a placebo.
Researchers have shown that saw palmetto is no better than a placebo at alleviating symptoms. Large studies have also shown the same effect in scientific studies comparing saw palmetto to placebo.

2. Its dosage may vary.
Even if you wanted to try taking a regular dose of saw palmetto, there’s currently no guarantee that the supplement you choose contains what it says it does. One study analyzed six different brands of the supplement and found that half of them contained less than 20 percent of the amount stated on the label.

3. It might not be safe.
Saw palmetto doesn’t seem to have any major side effects, but some users have reported headaches, nausea, and dizziness. However, we haven’t seen studies proving that saw palmetto is actually safe for the long term. In addition, supplements, including saw palmetto, are not well regulated by the FDA, and it’s not uncommon for wily manufacturers to distribute tainted products. You may think you’re taking a “natural” herbal remedy, but for all you know, you could be taking prescription, or even experimental, drugs.

4. It might mask another problem.
If you have symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including frequent urination, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an enlarged prostate. The same symptoms might pop up if you have prostatitis (an inflamed or infected prostate gland) or a bladder infection that can be treated with an antibiotic. Or the symptoms might even be a side effect of another medication. If supplements relieve your symptoms for some reason, you might neglect treating another ailment.

5. It’s a waste of money.
Instead of throwing your dollars away on saw palmetto supplements, see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and find out about approved drugs that can help. Common treatments include alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Visit Consumer Reports’ Best Buy Drugs to find out more about drugs it recommends for treating enlarged prostate.

Bottom Line: The enlarged prostate is a common problem affecting millions of American men. Saw palmetto is an over the counter non-medical, herbal supplement that probably has minimal or even no benefit at all. All men with symptoms prostate enlargement should seek medical care as solutions are available.

New Help For the Enlarged Prostate Gland-The Uro-Lift

January 21, 2015

The enlarged prostate is a medical condition in which the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra (tube in the penis that transports urine and semen located in the penis) becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. The condition is common, affecting approximately 37 million men in the United States alone. BPH symptoms include sleepless nights as men are awakened to empty their bladder and urinary problems such as dribbling after urination, frequency of urination, and urgency of urination. This condition can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life. About one in four men experience these urinary symptoms by age 55 and by age 70, over 80 percent of men suffer from BPH.

Treatment options
Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP or “roto rooter”), can be very effective in relieving symptoms, it can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).

A new study in published in Urology Practice, an official journal of the American Urological Association, concluded that the UroLift System preserves sexual function and provides rapid improvement in symptoms, flow and quality of life that are sustained to two years.

UroLift, which provides rapid relief of enlarged prostate symptoms with minimal side effects, are durable for at least two years after treatment, with less than one in ten patients requiring an additional procedure for symptom relief. At two years only 7.5% of patients required an additional procedure for lower urinary tract symptoms. Adverse events were typically early, mild and transient. There was no occurrence of de novo sustained ejaculatory or erectile dysfunction\impotence.

Bottom Line: Millions of American men suffer from the enlarged prostate gland. Help is available often starting with medication. Another option is Uro-Lift which can be done in the ambulatory treatment center and has immediate results.

Benign Prostate Enlargement (BPH) – Help Is Available

October 10, 2014

Millions of middle age men suffer from non-cancerous prostate gland enlargement. The cause is not known but is probably related to hormonal changes that occur normally in men after age 50.

The symptoms are going to the bathroom frequently, urgency of urination, poor stream, dribbling after urination. However, the most bothersome symptom that impacts a man’s quality of life is getting up multiple times during the night to go to the restroom.

Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man’s life, the enlargement doesn’t usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties, and as many as 90% in their seventies and eighties, have some symptoms of BPH. Moreover, because drug treatment is not effective in all cases, researchers in recent years have developed a number of procedures that relieve BPH symptoms but are less invasive than conventional surgery.

Thus, BPH is an age-related condition like many others, such as memory deficiency, reduced bones density and muscles flexibility.

As for natural treatment options, it has been noted Saw palmetto, a popular herbal therapy among men with prostate symptoms, is not effective and more and more scientific studies are showing that saw palmetto has no benefits in the treatment of BPH.

There are oral medications such as alpha-blockers such as Flomax and Rapaflo that relax the muscles in the prostate and make it easier for the bladder to empty the contents from the bladder. There are also medications that reduce the size of the prostate gland. These drugs, Proscar and Advodart, actually help decrease the size of the prostate thus decreasing the resistance to the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Unfortunately, these drugs have mild side effects and since so many Americans are polymedicated, and alternative solutions are often more attractive to active middle aged men.

Minimally invasive treatments

Men with enlarged prostate glands have symptoms of going to the bathroom frequently, dribbling after urination, and getting up at night to go to the bathroom. The problem is usually caused by a benign enlargement of the prostate gland, which blocks the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The cause of the benign enlargement is not known but is probably related to alternations in the hormones, testosterone, of middle aged and older men. Treatment usually consists of medications, alpha-blockers and medications to actually relax the muscles in the prostate gland but these are often ineffective especially if used for long period of time. The other options include minimally invasive procedures such as microwaves that can actually shrink the prostate gland. Now there’s a new treatment option that can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic.

What are some of the minimally invasive treatments available for BPH?

Laser vaporization: Anesthesia is usually required for this procedure, but patients can usually go home the same day. The technology involves placing a “cystoscope” (metal tube through which the visual lens and laser can be passed). A laser is used to burn and vaporize the obstructing or blocking prostatic tissue. Studies to date have shown limited long-term benefits.

Microwave thermotherapy of the prostate (TUMT): This is an office-based procedure performed with topical and oral pain medication and does not require a general anesthesia. Computer-regulated microwaves are sent through a catheter to heat portions of the prostate. A cooling system is required in some types for better tolerance. Traditionally, the best use of this procedure has been for patients who have too many medical problems for more invasive surgery or for patients who truly wish to avoid any type of anesthesia. Benefits are that there is no need for anesthesia and there is no blood loss or fluid absorption (these would be significant benefits in a person with a weak heart). Patients usually go home the same day. Men may need a catheter for one or two days after the procedure.

The UroLift system, made by NeoTract Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., is the first permanent implant to relieve low or blocked urine flow in men age 50 and older with an enlarged prostate.

By pulling back prostate tissue that presses on the urethra, the system allows more natural urine flow.   This procedure is compared to pulling back the curtains with a sash. The procedure can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic and will actually open up the urethra to allow the flow of urine and reduce the urinary symptoms of frequency of urination, improve the force and caliber of the urine stream, and decrease the number of times a man needs to get up at night to empty his bladder.

Of course with any procedure there may be side effects and complications. Some b patients reported pain or burning during urination, increased urgency, decreased urine flow, incomplete bladder emptying, and blood in the urine. Most of these symptoms and side effects were temporary and resolved a few days or weeks after the UroLift was performed.

Bottom Line: Millions of American men suffer from symptoms as a result of an enlarged prostate gland. Certainly medications are a first line treatment option. However, the UroLift may be a permanent solution to this common problem and help men get a good night’s sleep!