Like your ears and nose, your prostate never stops growing. This tiny little walnut-shaped gland increases in size as you increase in age. That’s why a majority of men develop
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), more commonly known as an enlarged prostate.
You’re more likely to develop BPH the older you get. About 8% of men aged between 30 and 40 have BPH, but that jumps up to 80% once you’re in your ninth decade. Though BPH isn’t dangerous, it can cause troubling symptoms, such as:
- Urgent need to urinate
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Dribbling urine
- Straining while urinating
- Urine that takes a while to “start”
- Weak urine stream
- Nocturia (i.e., peeing at night)
- Pelvic pain
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
In extreme cases, your prostate is so large that you can’t pass urine at all. If this happens to you, you’re in a medical emergency situation and should head to your nearest emergency room immediately. Long-term BPH can also adversely affect your kidneys’ health.
When you first notice the symptoms of BPH, you may worry that you have prostate cancer. That’s why you should never ignore changes in your urinary habits or episodes of pain or discomfort. You should also undergo regular screenings for prostate cancer to put your mind at ease or to get the treatment you need.
Alex Lesani, MD, an expert, knowledgeable urologist, conducts examinations and tests that determine what’s at the root of your symptoms. If he diagnoses an enlarged prostate at our Las Vegas, Nevada, office, you may wonder about your treatment options. Read on to find out.
As with many other tissues and organs, your prostate can be irritated and inflamed by the foods you eat, substances you ingest, and your lifestyle habits. If your BPH is mild, or if you want to avoid it in the first place, lifestyle changes alone may keep your prostate healthy.
- Limit caffeine
- Limit alcohol
- Limit liquids at night
- Switch to a whole-foods diet
- Exercise more
- Urinate regularly
- Lose excess weight
If these measures don’t improve your symptoms, let us know. We have plenty of other treatment options to alleviate the effects of BPH.
Oral medications can reduce inflammation in your prostate or relax the muscles around your prostate and bladder to facilitate urination. Dr. Lesani may prescribe:
- Alpha-blockers to relax muscles
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors to shrink prostate
- Tadalafil to treat ED and BPH
Dr. Lesani may also recommend a combination or two or more of these types of drugs.
GreenLight™ Laser Therapy
If lifestyle changes or medication don’t work for you (or you choose not to medicate), Dr. Lesani may suggest GreenLight™ laser therapy. The GreenLight laser removes overgrown prostate tissue in a simple procedure that doesn’t usually require an overnight hospital stay.
While you’re under general anesthesia, Dr. Lesani inserts the laser through your urethra to vaporize excess prostate tissue. The process is minimally invasive, fast, and safe for most men, even if you’re on medications or have a pacemaker.
Most men experience improved urination within 24 hours. They also are usually able to discontinue BPH medications. Symptom relief can last for up to five years.
Downtime is minimal. You should be able to return to work and normal activities within a few days. However, wait for Dr. Lesani’s OK before hitting the gym or engaging in vigorous workouts or manual labor.
Other minimally invasive surgery
Dr. Lesani is an expert in minimally invasive surgeries that reduce prostate size and increase the urine flow. In-office surgical procedures include:
- Microwave therapy
- Transurethral needle ablation
Some of these surgeries are done in the safety and comfort of our office. Others may require a hospital operating room. We discuss your options based on the severity of your symptoms.
If BPH adversely affects your life, you can subdue or reverse symptoms with the right treatment. Phone our friendly team at 702-470-2579, or book your appointment online today.