A man's feelings about his symptoms are a major factor in determining the most appropriate treatment. If the man is extremely unhappy with his symptoms, he may elect a more aggressive, immediate form of therapy. If he is only mildly bothered but still wishes to pursue treatment, he may elect to use medications.
Evaluation & Testing
To quantify the effect of urinary symptoms on a man’s quality of life, urologists use a symptom questionnaire developed by the American Urological Association. The higher the score on the questionnaire, the more likely the patient needs aggressive treatment.
A man being evaluated for enlarged prostate will also receive a rectal exam and a have his blood drawn to measure his body’s prostate specific antigen (PSA). These steps verify whether the symptoms are the result of an enlarged prostate or could be caused by a prostate infection or prostate cancer.
Treatment is available when the symptoms an enlarged prostate are affecting your quality of life or are so severe that they put you at risk for serious complications like urinary tract infections or bladder or kidney damage.
- Medications: There are two types of medications. Your doctor may prescribe one or both.
- Alpha Blockers relax the prostate muscles and bladder neck to improve urine flow. These medications start working almost immediately.
- 5-Alpha-Reductace Inhibitors block the hormone that causes your prostate to grow. They help relieve symptoms by shrinking your prostate over time.
- Nonsurgical Procedures: These include treatments that use heat to destroy extra prostate tissue. They shrink your prostate and help open up your urethra.
- Surgical Procedures: These treatments remove the enlarged part of your prostate to make it smaller. The most common surgery to treat surgery is called a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in which the urologist removes the excess tissue surrounding your urethra with a traditional surgical instrument or a laser.
Review the TURP post-operative patient instructions.