Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, is an uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing condition affecting about half of men over 50 and up to 90% of those over 80.
The “benign” in BPH means that an enlarged prostate isn’t a dangerous condition, isn’t cancer, and doesn’t raise your risk for cancer.
However, when you have BPH, your condition can feel anything but benign. An enlarged prostate could even put you at risk for kidney disease or other complications without treatment.
Even without complications, BPH can lower the quality of your life. If you have BPH, you may struggle with symptoms such as:
- Nocturia (peeing often at night)
- Urinary urgency
- Dribbling urine
- Straining to urinate
- Weak urine stream
- Feeling like you can’t evacuate your bladder
- Pelvic pain
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Our expert urologist, Alex Lesani, MD, offers various treatments to reduce an enlarged prostate. Unlike most other parts of your body, your prostate gland continues to grow, which means that if you have BPH now, it’ll only get worse with time.
Although Dr. Lesani is an expert in minimally invasive surgeries that reduce the prostate’s size and improve urine flow, not everybody needs surgery. In fact, the sooner you treat your BPH, the less likely you will need surgical reduction.
How do you treat BPH without surgery? The following are some options.
Pop a pill (or two)
FDA-approved medications to shrink your prostate are usually a first-line treatment for men whose symptoms don’t improve after lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercising more. A variety of drugs use mechanisms to give you relief. Dr. Lesani may recommend a combination of several drugs for maximum effect.
Alpha blockers quickly relax the smooth muscle in the neck of your bladder and your prostate gland. This effect allows urine to flow more freely. A possible side effect is retrograde ejaculation, in which your semen goes back up the urethra instead of exiting your body.
5-alpha reductase inhibitors
The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors actually shrink your prostate by preventing hormone changes that trigger prostate growth. These drugs take up to six months to work. They may cause sexual side effects.
Known popularly by its brand name Cialis®, tadalafil was developed to treat ED. However, it also seems to shrink the prostate, giving relief to men who use the drug.
Lie back for lasers
Dr. Lesani’s preferred method of actively treating an enlarged prostate is GreenLight™ laser therapy. The GreenLight laser vaporizes excess prostate tissue during a simple, in-office procedure.
Although you’re under general anesthesia for the procedure, you usually don’t have to stay in the hospital. Instead, you go home the same day.
You can return to most activities within a few days. However, you should hold off on manual labor or intensive workouts until Dr. Lesani gives you the go-ahead.
During your procedure, Dr. Lesani inserts the laser through your urethra to reach your prostate. You don’t need an incision or stitches. GreenLight laser therapy is fast, safe, and effective.
Within 24 hours, you should notice an improvement in your urine stream. You should be able to cut back on or cut out your BPH medications. GreenLight laser therapy relieves symptoms for up to five years.
Don’t suffer from BPH or wish it away. Call our helpful team at 702-470-2579 for relief, or book your appointment online.