Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or Enlargement (BPE) Treatment in Atlanta
Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH represents the abnormal and excessive growth of prostatic tissue not caused by cancer. It is an extremely common condition with about 50% of men experiencing it by the age of 50 and 80% by the age of 80. To learn more about BPH, we need to understand the prostate gland – a small, walnut-sized structure that surrounds the urethra. The urethra is the tube that brings urine from the bladder out of the body. As the prostate swells in size due to BPH, the flow of urine can be interrupted, causing symptoms. We still do not know the exact cause of BPH, but we do know that age and family history can increase your risk.
Symptoms and Signs of BPH
Patients typically feel a progression of symptoms starting mild and getting worse, until they seek treatment. However, there is no predicting how an individual will experience BPH. Some of the most significant symptoms of BPH include:
● Slow stream
● Difficulty starting to urinate
● A Sense of a full bladder
● Waking up at night to urinate
● Feeling the need to urinate often
● And more
It is important to remember that lower urinary tract symptoms, or LUTS, are not exclusive to any one condition, so we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kapadia to understand more about the causes.
Leaving BPH Untreated
When men first experience urinary symptoms, they are often concerned about prostate cancer. They are typically relieved when the diagnosis is BPH. However, while the name suggests a mild problem, untreated BPH can cause problems including kidney damage and bladder damage and infection, if certain cases are not treated. As such, visiting a urologist like Dr. Kapadia offers you an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Quality of life is also a big part of the decision to treat BPH. Many men choose to live with this condition, when there is truly no need to do so. While it may seem easier to modify your lifestyle to suit your urinary problems, the solution is often just a phone call and visit away. Learning more about your treatment options is a great first step toward a solution.
Prior to or during your consultation with Dr. Kapadia, you will be asked to fill out an International Prostate Symptom Score or IPSS form. This is a series of questions to help Dr. Kapadia understand how disruptive your symptoms are and help him suggest the best course of action.
Watchful Waiting. For mild cases, watchful waiting is often appropriate. While there is no specific treatment, we know your condition and monitor it for worsening. You will work closely with Dr. Kapadia to ensure that you receive the appropriate care if symptoms start to worsen.
Medical Therapy. As with many urologic conditions, medical therapy is often a helpful, front-line treatment for symptomatic BPH. Medications such as Flomax or finasteride are commonly prescribed to improve urination and symptoms. However, they only treat the symptoms and not the cause. As such, when stopping medication, or if the condition worsens, the benefit is reduced or lost entirely. Medications also come with sometimes significant side effects. Many patients are not able to tolerate these effects and consequently look for more permanent options.
In-Office Therapies. Dr. Kapadia believes that, for many men, an in-office procedure, known as Rezum, can be a great next step. Rezum uses targeted water vapor or steam to destroy excess prostatic tissue and open the urinary channel. It is a short, 15-minute procedure and, for most, leads to excellent results. Further, Rezum can be performed again (typically after 5 years, when the benefit starts to diminish) and does not preclude the use of a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP), a surgical option. Learn more about Heat-Based Rezum BPH Treatment
Patients may also opt for a minimally invasive BPH procedure known as Urolift. Thie procedure uses suture to pull away prostatic tissue causing compression on the urethra.
Surgery. While there are several potential surgical therapies, Dr. Kapadia typically performs a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate or Bipolar TURP. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes approximately an hour. During the procedure, Dr. Kapadia shaves away excess prostatic tissue, mechanically reducing pressure on the urine channel. While extremely effective, this is the most invasive of the BPH procedures Dr. Kapadia offers, and it comes with some risk, which will be discussed at consultation. Learn more about TURP BPH Treatment
Aquablation is another hospital-based procedure that uses autonomous robot technology to direct a water jet to break up excess prostatic tissue.
Is BPH Cancer or Can It Lead to Cancer?
BPH and cancer are very distinct and the biggest difference between the two are symptoms. BPH symptoms are often noticeable and progress as we get older. Prostate cancer is typically asymptomatic, until later stages. Prostate cancer and BPH can, of course, co-occur, but the latter does not lead to, or cause, the former.
The Bottom Line
There are several potential treatment options available to patients suffering from BPH, and we hope this article helped you understand that BPH is not something you must live with. In fact, it is very treatable. However, your next step should include a visit to a trusted and experienced urologist, such as Dr. Kapadia, where you can further understand the condition and find out how we treat it.