Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
An enlarged prostate – also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – is a common condition that affects men as they get older. BPH can cause a variety of symptoms, most involving urinary dysfunction.
An enlarged prostate is not prostate cancer and does not increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
What Is the Prostate & Why Is It Problematic?
The prostate gland is an organ about the size of a walnut that sits beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. It also surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate is responsible for producing some of the fluid that will mix with sperm from the testicles to create seminal fluid.
This gland begins to gradually grow larger over time, beginning when a man is about 25 years old and continuing to slowly do so throughout his life. An enlarged prostate is such a common, age-related condition, that most men are expected to have it late in life.
Reasons for prostate growth likely involve testosterone levels as well as cellular changes that occur with age, although the exact cause is unclear.
Complications of Prostate Enlargement
As the prostate gland grows, it can press against the urethra, inhibiting normal urinary function. The gland can also make the bladder work harder to release urine, which causes the bladder walls to thicken. Eventually, the bladder can weaken to the point that it is unable to completely empty itself of stored urine – a complication called urinary retention. Prostate enlargement can also lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs), as well as bladder or kidney damage.
Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate
Prostate growth can eventually cause an array of symptoms, including:
- Frequent and urgent urination
- Pain when urinating
- Weak urine flow
- Interrupted sleep due to the urge to urinate throughout the night
- Difficulty starting or stopping urination, and dribbling after finishing
- Problems emptying the bladder
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor. Common diagnostic tests for an enlarged prostate include a digital rectal exam and blood test. In some cases, an ultrasound, cystoscopy, or biopsy may be recommended.
Your BPH Treatment Options
Living with an enlarged prostate can be extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Treatment for BPH will depend on the severity of your symptoms. In mild cases, lifestyle changes – such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, going to the bathroom regularly, and exercising regularly – may be enough to ease your symptoms. If your symptoms are more severe, however, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend surgery.
The interventional radiologists at Florida Endovascular and Interventional perform an in-office, image-guided prostate embolization procedure that can successfully relieve your BPH symptoms for years. This minimally invasive technique reduces blood flow to the prostate gland, which causes it to shrink. Symptom relief is often experienced within days of the procedure.
Enlarged Prostate Treatment in South Florida
There is no need to continue to suffer from the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. The vascular experts at Florida Endovascular and Interventional in South Florida can provide long-lasting relief with a single, in-office procedure.