Treatment Option For Bph: The Urolift System
Urologists at UCLA Urology are now offering UroLift, a new treatment option for benign prostatic hyperplasia .
UroLift Offers Relief for BPH
When Jeff Brenner first began experiencing bothersome urinary symptoms in his 40s, he attributed it to middle age and figured it was something he could live with.
An enlarged prostate compresses on the urethra, making it difficult for urine to flow.The UroLift Device is placed through the obstructed urethra to access the enlarged prostate.The device compresses the tissue and delivers tiny implants to lift and hold prostate tissue out of the way, thus opening the urethra. The permanent implants keep the tissue in place, like tiebacks on a window curtain.The UroLift Device is removed, leaving an open urethra for urine to flow.
Signs You Should See A Urologist
An enlarged prostate obstructs the bladder opening and can lead to a myriad of bothersome urinary symptoms. Symptoms of BPH include frequent urination, a weak or slow urine stream, incomplete bladder emptying, difficulty or delay in starting urination and a urine stream that stops and starts. Its important to see a physician if any of these problems arise or persist.
Enlarged prostate can also cause loss of productivity and sleep and, in some cases, can lead to depression. According to a survey sponsored by NeoTract, one of the most common symptoms of BPH interrupted sleep is also impacting mens partners. Sixty-four percent of women surveyed who were affected by their partners BPH symptoms said it impacts their sleep, too.
What If I Cant Have Surgery
Surgery isnt always an option you may not be fit or well enough for an operation, or you may not like the idea of it. If surgery isnt suitable for you and lifestyle changes and medicines havent worked, your doctor or nurse may suggest using a catheter. This is a thin, flexible tube used to drain urine from your bladder. The catheter may be permanent or temporary.
A permanent catheter is passed up into the bladder through your penis, or through a small cut in your abdomen. The catheter is usually attached to a drainage bag, which you strap on to your body under your clothing. Your doctor or nurse will usually change your catheter every 12 weeks.
A temporary catheter is where you put a catheter in yourself when you need to urinate, rather than leaving one in all the time. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to put the catheter in and tell you how often to use it. Some men can urinate quite well without a catheter and only use it once a day to make sure they empty their bladder regularly. Other men need to use a temporary catheter several times a day.
You can lower your chances of getting a urine infection by keeping your catheter and the area around it clean. You may find the following tips helpful.
Let your nurse know if your catheter isnt draining properly. If urine hasnt drained from your bladder for 2 to 3 hours, contact your GP or district nurse straight away.
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Minimally Invasive Treatments For An Enlarged Prostate
When medications don’t help your enlarged prostate, several procedures can relieve symptoms — without surgery. They are performed in a doctor’s office. “These procedures use various types of heat energy to shrink a portion of the prostate,” explains Westney. “They are very effective.”
TUMT : This therapy for mild to moderate blockage reduces urinary frequency, urgency, straining, and intermittent flow — but does not correct any bladder-emptying problems. In this procedure, computer-regulated microwaves are used to heat portions within the prostate to destroy select tissue. A cooling system protects the wall of the urethra during the procedure. TUMT is performed in a doctor’s office and requires only topical anesthesia and pain medications.
Possible side effects include painful urination for several weeks. Temporary urgency and frequency of urination is also possible. There may be less semen ejaculated. Many men must have this procedure repeated, either because symptoms return or do not improve.
TUNA : This procedure also destroys prostate tissue to improve urine flow and relieve symptoms. It involves heating the tissue with high-frequency radiowaves transmitted by needles inserted directly into the prostate . The procedure does not require a hospital stay. Possible side effects include painful, urgent, or frequent urination for a few weeks.
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Natural remedies such as saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, pygeum, rye grass pollen extract and stinging nettle may help relieve enlarged prostate symptoms more research is needed. Herbal remedies can have side effects and interact with other medications. Long term effects are often unknown. Ask your doctor before taking these supplements.
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How Do You Check For Enlarged Prostate
Resistance And Aerobic Exercises
It is said that staying active is good for the prostate along with general health. So you should practice some simple exercises if you are serious about learning how to treat enlarged prostate at home. The fact is, inactivity leads to obesity, which is among the potential risk factors of enlarged prostate. Even a small amount of exercise such as resistance and aerobic exercise could help in reducing urinary problems resulted by an enlarged prostate and could even prevent this condition.
You can incorporate aerobic exercises such as jogging, running, walking, tennis, basketball, and rowing into your everyday exercise regime.
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What Is An Enlarged Prostate
Your prostate gland is located underneath your bladder and urethra. When you pee, your bladder pushes its contents into the prostate and then into the urethra, the tube through which urine exits your body.
The opening within the prostate acts as a continence mechanism, says Dr. Ramin, so you only pee when you want to. Without your prostate, youd likely be dealing with urine leaking out of the bladder and incontinence issues.
Large Prostate With Significant Symptoms
For patients who have moderate or severe symptoms that have failed medical therapy from very enlarged prostates, the optimal treatment is often surgery. For very enlarged prostates, there are four main surgical options:
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When To See A Doctor
If you don’t see a reduction in symptoms or if your symptoms worsen, you may need to undergo a different treatment plan.
The first higher-level treatment is to begin taking prescription drugs for an enlarged prostate. One class of medication is an alpha blocker. These medications, such as Flomax, Rapaflo, and Cardura, work by relaxing the affected muscles around the prostate to encourage urine flow.
Another type of medication is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Examples of these medications include Proscar and Avodart, which are long-term medications that help to block the production of dihydrotestosterone and shrink the size of the prostate.
Surgery and Minimally Invasive Procedures
For moderate to severe BPH, you may need a medical procedure to relieve your symptoms. There are a variety of procedures, including laser therapy, microwave heat, or prostate tissue compression. Partial prostate removal and full removal are more invasive but may be necessary for extremely large prostate glands.
What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition in which the prostate, a walnut-sized body part made of glandular and muscular tissue, grows in size. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and sperm out of the body. The benign condition is also called benign prostatic enlargement .
The prostate is located directly beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra passes through the prostate, so if the prostate becomes enlarged, it can keep urine or semen from passing through the urethra.
The main function of the prostate is to produce fluid for the semen, the milky fluid in which sperm swims. Sperm is produced in the testicles, which also make the main male hormone testosterone. During puberty, testosterone stimulates the growth and function of the prostate, and helps with the production of fluid for semen.
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Your Quality Of Life With An Enlarged Prostate
If your enlarged prostate symptoms are mild and not bothersome, there’s likely no need for treatment. One-third of men with mild BPH find that their symptoms clear up without treatment. They may just watch and wait.
However, when enlarged prostate symptoms are bothersome or are affecting your quality of life or overall health, it’s time to talk to your doctor about the treatment options. Together you will determine if you would benefit most from medication, a minimally invasive procedure, or surgery.
It’s important to talk with a doctor when you begin noticing changes in urinary function. You need to find out what’s going on so you can be treated for enlarged prostate if necessary. For many men, especially those who are young when the prostate starts growing, getting early treatment can head off complications later on.
Understanding Bph And The Prostate Gland
If you break down the meaning of BPH starting with B, benign means not cancerous which is reassuring for men to know that BPH is not linked to prostate cancer nor does it increase a mans risk of developing it. The H or hyperplasia means an enlargement of an organ or tissue caused by an increase in its cell reproduction. In regards to the prostate gland, hyperplasia indicates the walnut-shaped gland, situated in front of the rectum and below the bladder, has grown large enough to start squeezing the urethra, affecting the flow of urine often leading to urinary symptoms.
At birth, the prostate gland in baby boys is tiny. Over the course of a mans lifetime, the prostate undergoes two growth spurts. Puberty is the first growth spurt fueled by the sex hormones made by the testicles doubling the size of the prostate. Then, the second growth spurt starts around age 25 and continues during most of a mans life. By the time a man reaches age 40, his prostate may have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of an apricot and by the time a man reaches age 60, it might be the size of a lemon.
The prostate gland is also in charge of another important function a mans urinary flow. Thats because the prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. Its also in charge of stopping urine from leaving the bladder until a man urinates. However, when a man has BPH, this puts pressure on the urethra resulting in annoying urinary issues.
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Treating Benign Prostate Enlargement
Treatment for an enlarged prostate is determined by the severity of your symptoms.
If you have mild to moderate symptoms, you won’t receive any immediate medical treatment, but you’ll have regular check-ups to carefully monitor your prostate.
You’ll probably also be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, and exercising regularly, to see if they improve your symptoms.
As well as lifestyle changes, medication is usually recommended to treat moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Finasteride and dutasteride are medications that are commonly used. They block the effects of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone on the prostate gland, which can reduce the size of the prostate and improve associated symptoms.
Alpha blockers may also be prescribed. They help to relax your bladder muscles, making it easier to pass urine. Tamsulosin and alfuzosin are two alpha blockers commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement.
Surgery is usually only recommended for moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostate enlargement that have failed to respond to medication.
Read more about treating benign prostate enlargement
Additional Supplements To Help Relieve Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
Another great supplement is the stinging nettle root. The nettle root contains similar anti-inflammatory and antioxidants as the pygeum and saw palmetto. Most times the nettle root is combined with saw palmetto.
Beta-sitosterol, a compound similar to cholesterol, is found in some plants and seeds like pumpkin seeds. This compound has been shown to improve urine flow. It can also reduce the amount of urine left in the bladder after one urinates. Issues with urination are a symptom of an enlarged prostate.
According to some studies, taking 10 grams of pumpkin seed extract daily can help with BPH symptoms. One study suggests that lycopene a naturally occurring pigment found in many fruits and vegetables may slow the progression of an enlarged prostate.
The richest source of lycopene available to most people is tomatoes. There are a few other vegetables and fruits that contain lower levels of this antioxidant. Generally speaking the deeper red or pink fruit or vegetable is in color the higher the lycopene content is.
The mineral zinc can reduce the likeliness of an enlarged prostate. Increasing the dietary intake of zinc could help reduce urinary issues associated with an enlarged prostate. People can find zinc in seafood, poultry, and many types of nuts and seeds. For example, sesame or pumpkin seeds.
Caffeine stimulates the bladder causing the sudden urge to urinate. This could potentially worsen BPH symptoms.
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Lifestyle And Food For Prostate Changes
Certain lifestyle changes may make all the difference in relieving symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Some guys might want to wait and see before they opt for surgery or drug therapy, and they might love the idea of natural choices first such as these:
- Limiting their caffeine and alcohol intake or avoiding it altogether.
- Making food for prostate to improve your diet.
- Avoiding drinking fluids in the evening.
- Trying to urinate at least every 3 hours.
What Is The Gleason Score
So, how do you know where your biopsy stands? Your biopsy samples will be assigned whats called a Gleason score, the most commonly used way to grade prostate cancer, which will help your doctor make treatment decisions.
It works like this:
Your doctor compares each of the tissue samples taken during your biopsy to normal, healthy prostate tissue.
He or she gives each sample a score, or grade, ranging from 3 to 5.
The more abnormal your cells, the higher your grade. A 5 represents the most aggressive cancer.
Once each sample has been graded, your doctor then takes the two most common scores from all the samples and add them together. These two numbers are then weighted for prevalence. This is your Gleason Score, which can range from 6 to 10, with 10 being the most aggressive cancer.
To make it super clear, lets walk you through an example.
Lets say a man has a biopsy in which 12 tissue samples are removed from his prostate.
After careful study in a lab, each tissue receives a score. Eight of the tissue samples score a 3, while the other four samples each receive a 4.
His doctor then writes the two most common scores, 3 and 4, as the final score: 3+4=7. He writes 3 first because more of the slides were graded as a 3, thus giving these readings more significance.
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How Is Enlarged Prostate Treated
Treatments for enlarged prostate include:
Lifestyle changes: These can include reducing liquid intake, bladder training , abstaining from alcohol and caffeinated beverages and regularly exercising the pelvic muscles.
Medication: A class of medication called Alpha Blockers works to relax muscle fibers in the prostate and bladder. This relaxation allows for increased urine flow and less frequent urination. A second class of medication, called Alpha Reductase Inhibitors, works to block the hormones that cause the prostate to swell. Many patients will take a combination of these two types of medication.
Minimally invasive procedures: Our specialists are trained in two minimally invasive procedures that can help remove or reduce the obstructing prostate tissue:
Surgery: For severe cases of a very enlarged prostate, surgical removal of the prostatecalled transurethral resection of the prostate may be the recommended course of action. Patients will decide with their doctor if aggressive treatment is warranted, depending on the size of the prostate and severity of symptoms.