Have you noticed that you seem to be waking up more often than usual to make a trip to the bathroom? Is it difficult to sit through a meal or meeting without taking a restroom break? For many men, especially as they age, an overactive bladder could be a sign of an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).
According to the National Kidney and Urological Disease Information Clearinghouse, the most common prostate problem for men over 50 is prostate enlargement. By age 60, over one-half of men experience this condition.
Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate
BPH is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate that inhibits urine from flowing through the urethra. It’s a natural occurrence for aging men, but it can be uncomfortable, and at times, dangerous. Frequent urination is perhaps the most noticeable symptom of BPH, but you may also notice:
- A feeling of still having to urinate, even if you just did
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty starting urination
- Leaking or dribbling urine
- Straining to urinate
- Weak or slow urine stream
These signs of discomfort brought on by an enlarged prostate can lead to other complications, as you become more at risk for developing urinary tract infections, as well as bladder stones and other more serious urologic conditions.
“If left undiagnosed and untreated, men experiencing symptoms like frequent urination or a burning sensation could start to feel even worse, or their symptoms could mean something more serious — like bladder or prostate cancer, says urologist Amar Raval, MD, adding, “That’s why it’s so important to see a urologist if you’re experiencing anything abnormal.”
Catching Prostate Cancer Early Can Save Your Life
While it largely develops in older men, prostate cancer can happen at any age. In fact, it’s the second cause of cancer death among men. Although that’s a startling statistic, the good news is that most men diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, can survive it.
That’s why detecting this slow-growing cancer early, when it’s most treatable, is so important. If you haven’t already, talk to your primary care physician or urologist about your prostate cancer risk and create a screening plan that’s right for you.
Minimally Invasive Treatment Options
The diagnosis and treatment plan will vary for each individual patient, depending on his health history, symptoms and other factors.
“The team at AdventHealth North Pinellas will always help you consider the least invasive treatment options first, but sometimes urology surgery is necessary,” says Dr. Raval. “If we reach that point, you can rest assured knowing we use progressive surgical techniques, including robotic surgery, to give you a shorter recovery time and less discomfort.”
Six state-of-the-art treatment methods we use at AdventHealth North Pinellas include:
Axonics is a rechargeable pacemaker-like system for overactive bladder, bowel incontinence and urinary retention. This system lasts up to 15 years and restores the communication between your brain and bladder/bowel. The procedure is normally performed in less than an hour and you're expected to go home the same day with minimal to no pain.
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
To treat prostate cancer, HIFU targets only cancer and leaves healthy tissue untouched and unharmed, which dramatically lowers the chances of side effects.
ProTouch laser is a tool to treat urinary symptoms due to enlarged prostate. This precise technique minimizes bleeding during the procedure and shrinks or removes excess tissue preventing urine flow.
Rezum treats enlarged prostate by sending tiny streams of water vapor through the urethra to the enlarged prostate gland. The stream destroys the problematic excess cells and are slowly removed naturally by the body. This is an outpatient procedure, typically requires a catheter, no incisions, no general anesthesia and recovery time is normally a few days.
The da Vinci® Xi Surgical System
The da Vinci® Xi is a robotic surgery system that helps surgeons view the surgical site using magnified 3D technology. This allows them to make more precise adjustments during procedures. Robotic surgeries mean less blood loss, less pain, less risk of infection, minimal scarring and a quicker recovery for you or your loved one.
UroLift treats benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by lifting and holding the enlarged prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra. This procedure doesn’t require heating, cutting or removal of the prostate tissue, so you can likely go home the same day without a catheter.