An enlarged prostate happens when the gland has grown bigger. Prostate enlargement can happen to most of the men when they get older. It doesn’t raise the risk of prostate cancer. This article will tell you about the diagnosis and the treatment for enlarged prostate.
Diagnosis of an Enlarged Prostate
The doctor will ask some detailed questions about the symptoms and by doing a physical exam. This will include:
- Urine test: The doctor will analyze the sample of your urine which can help to detect the infection or conditions which can cause the symptoms.
- Blood test: This will indicate kidney problems
- Digital rectal exam: The doctor here inserts a finger into the rectum to check for prostate enlargement
If the condition is bad, the doctor will recommend:
- Prostate biopsy: In transrectal ultrasound, needles are used to take some tissue samples of the prostate. By examining the tissue, the doctor can determine the problem.
- Cystoscopy: This is a lighted, flexible instrument which is inserted into the urethra, which allows the doctor to see the inside of the bladder. The doctor will give the anesthesia.
- Transrectal ultrasound: An ultrasound probe is inserted in the rectum to measure and examine your prostate.
Treatment of Enlarged prostate
There are various treatments which are available for the enlarged prostate, which includes medication, surgery and minimally invasive therapies. The treatment choice will totally depend on various factors which include:
- Size of your prostate
- Overall health
- Amount of discomfort
We will see each treatment one by one.
Medication is one the common treatment which is suitable for mild to moderate symptoms of prostate enlargement. The options include:
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors: These medications will help to shrink your prostate by reducing the hormonal changes which cause prostate growth. The medications include finasteride and dutasteride and these can take upto six months to see the complete effects. The side effects include retrograde ejaculation.
- Combination drug therapy: The doctor can recommend taking an alpha-blocker and 5-alpha reductase inhibitor at the same time if one medication alone isn’t effective.
- Alpha-blockers: The medications are helpful to relax the neck muscles of the bladder and the muscle fibers which are present in the prostate, which makes the urination easier. Alpha-blockers such as alfuzosin, doxazosin and silodosin work effectively in men with small prostates. The side effects can include a harmless condition in which the semen goes back in the bladder instead of out of the penis.
There are various types of surgical therapies which are given below:
- TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate): The doctor will insert a lighted scope into the urethra and the doctor will remove all but the outer part of the prostate. TURP relieves the symptoms quickly and most of the men have a stronger urine flow after the procedure is done. After the TURP surgery, you might require a catheter to drain out the bladder.
- TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate): In this procedure, a lighted scope is inserted into the urethra and the doctor will make small cuts in the prostate gland, which makes it easier for the urine to pass via the urethra. This surgery is an option if you have a small prostate gland or if you have certain health problems which make other surgeries too risky.
- TUMT (transurethral incision of the prostate): The doctor will insert an electrode via your urethra into the prostate area. Microwave energy from the electrode is able to destroy the inner position of the enlarged prostate which is able to shrink it while easing the urine flow. TUMT is able to partially relieve the symptoms and it might take some time before you notice any results. The surgery is good for small prostates.
- TUNA (transurethral needle ablation): In this surgery, a scope will be passed into the urethra which allows the doctor to place the needles in the prostate gland. Radio waves are passed via the needles and it destroys the excess prostate which is blocking the urine flow.
- Laser therapy: A high-energy laser can destroy overgrown prostate tissue. Laser therapy can generally relieve the symptoms right away and have fewer side effects than non-laser surgery. The options for laser therapy include:
Ablative procedures: The procedures vaporize obstructive the prostate tissue which will increase the urine flow. The examples include photoselective vaporization of the prostate and holmium laser ablation of the prostate.
Enucleative procedures: Enucleative procedures, like holmium laser enucleation of the prostate, is able to remove the prostate tissue which is blocking the urine flow and it also prevents the regrowth of tissue.
Prevention from an Enlarged Prostate
Lifestyle changes are not able to completely prevent the enlarged prostate but they can surely good for your prostate. For beginners, a heart-healthy diet or exercise can help you to manage your weight, which is good for your prostate. To reduce the symptoms you can follow these simple steps:
- Do some exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
- Lower the amounts of fluid you intake, especially before you go to bed
- Pee when you feel the urge because it will be easier on your bladder
- Limit the amount of caffeine you take in, these can make you pee more