Navigating Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The prostate plays an important role in the male reproductive system. Normally, this gland should be about the size of a walnut. In time and as a result of lifestyle, diet, and family genes, a man’s prostate may begin to enlarge sometime during his thirties. Enlargement is not a sudden event; it happens over many years. In many cases, it isn’t until a man is in his fifties or beyond that symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia become apparent. When they do, he needs proper help navigating his various treatment options.
The Right Level of Care is Different for Every Man
Benign prostatic hyperplasia does not occur the same in every man. There are various degrees of enlargement that may occur and at various rates of speed. It isn’t necessarily the size of the prostate that alerts us to the need for treatment. A urologist conducts a thorough consultation and examination to begin the process of determining appropriate treatment. Discussion may revolve around urinary symptoms such as frequency, irregularity of flow, or the sense of urgency around having to urinate.
In addition to the observation of symptoms, a urologic exam is performed. The digital rectal exam is only one aspect of diagnosing an enlarged prostate and only provides us with an estimate of size. Imaging such as ultrasound may also be performed as well as PSA screening and kidney function tests.
It is important to understand that an enlarged prostate does not always cause symptoms, even with severe enlargement. Conversely, some men experience urinary difficulties with mild to moderate prostatic hyperplasia. This is one of several aspects that can make navigating treatment a challenge.
Treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The level of treatment for an enlarged prostate will largely center around symptoms. If no symptoms are disrupting quality of life, a man may choose to have us monitor his prostate health only. Conservative treatments such as medications or modalities such as Rezūm water vapor therapy may be recommended depending on the extent of enlargement even without symptoms as a way to shrink the prostate before urinary function is affected. Severe symptoms and enlargement may require surgical correction using one of several possible techniques.
Prostate enlargement is not a complicated matter for your experienced urologist. Don’t go it alone. Call our Chattanooga office at (423) 778-8765.