Best Foods for Prostate Health: A Comprehensive Guide
Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) also called enlarged prostate is a condition in which the prostate appears bulky or enlarged causing difficulty in urinating. If left untreated, this condition can weaken the urinary tract causing a slow flow of urine and reduced kidney function. This condition often occurs in older men and can be caused due to other conditions like prostatitis, kidney stones, urethral stricture, and urinary tract infection.
The prostate is a small muscular gland in the male reproductive system that is responsible for the production of fluid and semen during sexual climax. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it is called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate that causes frequent urination, difficulty in starting urination, dribbling at the end of urination, and inability to empty the bladder.
The exact cause of prostate enlargement is still being studied. Since this condition affects most older men, it is believed to be linked to hormonal changes.
However, here are some conditions that can lead to an enlarged prostate.
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate can be initially mild but can worsen if left untreated. The size of the enlarged prostate does not determine whether the condition is severe or mild. For some men, a large swollen prostate could show minor symptoms while a small-sized enlarged prostate would show major symptoms. Here are signs that your prostate is enlarged.
Initially, a urologist will recommend you get a physical examination done. This includes a rectal examination that allows the doctor to have insight into the size and shape of the enlarged prostate. Moreover, a doctor will ask you to get the following tests to determine the next course of action.
1. Cystoscopy: The urethra and bladder will be examined by inserting a tiny tube with high-intensity light through the urethra.
2. Urinalysis: Urine is checked for blood and bacteria.
3. Urodynamic Test: Checks how well the parts of the lower urinary tract (bladder, sphincters & urethra) store and release urine.
4. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: This blood test checks for cancer of the prostate.
5. Post-Void Residual: This tests the amount of urine left in your bladder after urination.
6. Urine Flow Test: You urinate into a container attached to a machine that measures the strength and amount of your urine flow. This test helps determine if your condition is getting better or worse.
7. Transrectal Ultrasound: An ultrasound probe is inserted into your rectum to measure and evaluate your prostate.
For mild symptoms, an enlarged prostate requires no surgery and may require daily medication. For severe symptoms, a urologist will recommend a traditional surgical procedure or minimally invasive surgery for your BPH.
In open surgery, the surgeon makes an external incision and removes the enlarged tissue from inside the gland. The entire prostate is not removed, but rather the outer shell or capsule of the prostate remains similar to removing the core of an apple leaving its shell intact.
A surgeon makes an incision in your lower abdomen to reach the prostate and remove tissue. Open prostatectomy is generally done if you have a very large prostate, bladder damage, or other complicating factors. This surgery requires a short hospital stay and is associated with a higher risk of needing a blood transfusion.
A high-energy laser is used to destroy or extract overgrown prostate tissue. This procedure relieves symptoms immediately and has low risks compared to traditional BPH surgery. A urologist will perform a laser surgery depending on the size of your prostate, overall health, and the type of laser which will best suit you.
Types of Laser Procedures
+ Photoselective Vaporization of The Prostate (PVP): A laser using high-intensity heat is used to melt or vaporize excess prostate tissue and widen the urinary channel.
+ Holmium Laser Enucleation of The Prostate (HoLEP): A laser using high-intensity heat is used to cut/ remove the excess tissue that is blocking the urethra.
+ Holmium Laser Ablation of The Prostate (HoLAP): Similar to PVP, a different type of laser is used to melt away (vaporize) the excess prostate tissue.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure involves inserting a lighted scope into the urethra to remove the outer part of the prostate. This procedure quickly relieves symptoms and you can feel a stronger free flow of urine.
In this type of minimally invasive procedure, a scope is passed into your urethra thus allowing a doctor to place needles into the prostate gland. Radio waves are sent via these needles to heat and break excess prostate tissue blocking the flow of urine.
A lighted scope is inserted into your urethra and the surgeon makes one or two tiny cuts in the prostate gland to make the urine flow easier through the urethra.
Your doctor inserts a particular electrode (conductor through which electricity is passed) through the urine pipe into your prostate area. Microwave energy is sent to the electrode thus shrinking it and easing urine flow. This surgery is often used on men with mild BPH symptoms. It is a painless procedure.
In this minimally invasive procedure, a catheter is inserted through the artery that is directed to the prostate gland. Tiny particles are injected into the artery to block the supply of blood to the prostate. This process of blocking the supply of blood to the prostate is called embolization.
This process is repeated on the other side of the prostate through the same puncture causing the prostate to gradually decrease in size. It takes 1 to 4 hours depending on the size and location of the prostatic arteries.
While an enlarged prostate may not always cause symptoms, in certain cases, it can lead to complications and pose certain risks, such as:
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Yes, there can be urinary tract infections, such as bladder stones, incontinence, blood in urine (Hematuria), urinary retention. Bladder or kidney damage can occur in rare cases.
BPH usually starts in men in their 30s, grows with time, and shows symptoms after 50 years of age.
Only around 15 to 20 per cent people show recurrence after TURP.
Yes. There are various treatment options for Enlarged Prostate of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) to be cured.
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