BPH is an abbreviation for benign prostatic hyperplasia. There is currently no cure for this condition. The focus of the treatment is the reduction of symptoms. There are many different types of treatments available. Some of them have both side effects and risks. We recommend talking to your physician about the benefits and disadvantages of each treatment method before you decide how you will proceed. We also encourage you to consider the potential complications and long-term results.
This condition is also referred to as prostate gland enlargement. The condition occurs more frequently as the man begins aging. Once your prostate gland has become enlarged, you may suffer from uncomfortable urinary symptoms including kidney, urinary tract and bladder problems. The flow of urine coming from your bladder may also become blocked. There are effective treatments for this condition such as minimally invasive therapies, medications and catheters.
The best way to find the right option for your specific needs is to consult with your physician, explain your symptoms, other health issues, your prostate size and any preferences for treatment. There is a wide range of symptoms for men with prostate gland enlargement. Although the severity of symptoms varies, your symptoms will become worse as time passes.
The most common symptoms include:
• Urinating more often during the night
• Your urine stream is weak or starts and stops
• Your are unable to empty your bladder completely
• An urgent or frequent need to urinate
• Dribbling after finishing urinating
• Difficulty when starting to urinate
Less common symptoms include:
• Blood in your urine
• You are unable to urinate
• Urinary tract infection
The severity of the symptoms you are experiencing is not necessarily linked to your prostate size. Even if your prostate is only slightly enlarged, your symptoms can be severe. You may also experience minor symptoms despite having a very enlarged prostate. It is possible your symptoms may stabilize over time. There are other conditions that may be causing your symptoms including:
• Prostatitis or inflammation of your prostate
• Previous surgery resulting in scarring of your bladder neck
• Urinary tract infection
• Issues with the nerves controlling your bladder
• Kidney or bladder stones
• Urethral stricture of a narrowing of your urethra
• Cancer of your bladder or prostate
Even if you are experiencing minor urinary symptoms, we recommend talking to your physician. This will enable your doctor to eliminate or identify any underlying causes. If your urinary issue is not treated, your urinary tract can eventually become blocked. If you are unable to urinate, we strongly recommend receiving immediate medical attention. If you are diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, you have several treatment options including minimally invasive treatment, medication and catheterization.
Minimally Invasive Treatments
There are a wide variety of minimally invasive treatments available to help relieve moderate to severe symptoms. There are different degrees of side effects. Some treatments have been proven to last for a longer period of time such as CoreTherm. You can have this type of procedure performed in your physician’s office, with no hospitalization necessary. CoreTherm thermotherapy is an effective and convenient modern treatment method.
This treatment makes it possible to have your issues treated during a much earlier stage. CoreTherm is essentially a modern version of TUMT. This outpatient therapy is performed in your physician’s office with no general anesthesia. CoreTherm decreases the size of your prostate through the application of heat. A patented feedback system is used for the actual administration of the heat. The temperature of your prostrate is constantly monitored throughout your procedure.
The moderation of heat is based on your specific situation. Your treatment will only require between six and 15 minutes, with excellent efficacy and a good outcome for the long-term. If you are using intermittent self-catheterization or an indwelling catheter as a temporary solution, CoreTherm is a good option for long-term relief. According to scientific studies, this treatment has been proven to provide symptom relief for the long-term.
Non-invasive and Symptomatic Medications
Drug therapy is an option for treating your BPH. One of your options are alpha-blockers. This type of medication will cause your prostate muscle fibers and bladder neck muscles to relax. The idea is to make it easier for you to urinate. Alpha-blockers include:
• Uroxatral or alfuzosin
• Flomax or tamsulosin
• Cardura or doxazosin
• Rapaflo or silodosin
This type of medication is generally more effective if you have a fairly small prostate. The side effects may include retrograde ejaculation and dizziness. These drugs offer a faster onset from days to weeks. The issue is the effects are often temporary and moderate. Another option is 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. This medication prevents the hormonal changes resulting in prostate growth by shrinking your prostate.
These medications include:
• Proscar or finasteride
• Avodart or dutasteride
You may need to wait as long as six months for the medication to take effect. You may also experience side effects including retrograde ejaculation. Your physician may recommend a combination of a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor and an alpha-blocker if either medication was ineffective separately. Cialis or Tadalafil is a medication frequently used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. This medication may be effective for prostate enlargement.
The reason we do not generally recommend medications is that the onset of action usually requires between three and six months. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may not be able to wait three to six months for relief.
The most common side effects include:
In many cases, symptom relief is temporary and moderate. Some patients only notice slight effects, while others see no improvement at all. If you are trying to manage your symptoms with medication, we recommend contacting your physician to discuss your other options.
As your prostate continues to grow, your urethral passage may become compressed. This can result in total blockage. Certain individuals use a Foley catheter for temporary relief. The catheter is inserted directly into your bladder. This enables you to empty your bladder for the prevention of damage to your kidneys and bladder. If you use this catheter for too long, there are negative effects. You bladder may lose function due to shrinkage. A recidivating or chronic urinary tract infection can cause bladder stones.
We believe the best option is Intermittent catheters. If you are unable to urinate, a catheter is inserted into your bladder to offer you immediate relief. The procedure is very simple. The chances are excellent you will be able to catheterize yourself. We have seen children only seven or eight use this type of catheter effectively. An intermittent catheter offers you a lot of benefits including:
Effective: This is an excellent option is you are unable to empty your bladder. If urine remains in your bladder for too long, the result may be a urinary tract infection or a distended bladder.
Improving Urinary Incontinence: An intermittent catheter can help improve urinary incontinence. Once your bladder is empty, you simply remove the catheter. This will enable you to live a much more active lifestyle.
Safety: An indwelling catheter may lead to numerous complications including leaking, bladder spasms, infection and blockage. Your risk of developing any of these complications is significantly decreased with an intermittent catheter.
Doctor Recommendations: Many physicians recommend an intermittent catheter as a safe and effective solution for patients suffering from urinary retention, severe bladder issues resulting in damage to the kidneys and incontinence. If you are currently trying to manage your symptoms with medication, but not receiving the results you want, the ideal solution may be an intermittent catheter.
Interested in learning more about how catheterization can help? Call us at 415-475-8444 for a free consultation!