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Treatment Options - Help for BPH
Despite its unknown causes, there is hope for BPH.
You do not need to live with it as treatment is readily available. In fact, there are more than one treatment options for BPH.
Click on any of the links below to find out more on each type of therapy.
Surgery is an effective but invasive treatment option.
This has been around for many years and therefore the benefits and risks are well known. The most common and effective way to treat BPH is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The patient is anaesthetized and the doctor will insert a special instrument into the urethra through the penis to remove an internal portion of the prostate.
Other forms of surgery include:
Transurethral incision on the prostate (TUIP) may be used if the prostate is not big enough. Here, an instrument will be inserted into the urethra to make one or two cuts in the prostate. These cuts will reduce the pressure on the urethra and ease urination.
Open prostatectomy may be used if the prostate has enlarged tremendously. Part of the inside of the prostate will be removed. This procedure creates the greatest relief from the obstructing tissue. However, because it is the most aggressive approach, it also has the longest recuperation time and greater potential for complications.
Laser prostatectomy is when a laser fiber is inserted through the resectoscope and laser (light) energy is used to destroy prostatic tissue and create a larger channel. Like the TUIP, no tissue is removed.
Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) of the prostate is a procedure which removes obstructing tissue through heating probes placed into the prostate via the urethra. This procedure creates a smaller opening compared with the others.
The most recent surgical intervention for BPH is the microwave therapy. In transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), an instrument that sends out microwave energy is inserted through the urethra to a location inside the prostate. Microwaves are used to heat the inside of the prostate and cooling fluid is circulated around the microwave antenna to prevent heat from damaging the wall of the urethra. When the temperature becomes high enough, the surrounding tissue inside the prostate is damaged. Initially the prostate will swells, making the urinary symptoms worse, but over time the prostate shrinks reducing the blockage of urine flow.
The most passive treatment option is watchful waiting.
This is not an active treatment like taking medicine or having surgery. It means getting regular examination to monitor the problem. Your doctor may suggest some lifestyle changes to control your symptoms.
If your symptoms do not improve, your doctor may start you on drug treatment.
One of the more common and well-received BPH therapy is the medication treatment option.
Alpha-blocker drugs are taken orally and they help to relax the smooth muscles in the prostate. They relieve the compression exerted on the urethra and urinary symptoms may improve in one or two weeks. However, there are side effects such as headache and fatigue.
5-Alpha reductase inhibitors shrink the enlarged prostate by decreasing dihydrotestosterone, the male hormone responsible for prostate growth. This gradually improves urine flow rate and decrease the symptoms of BPH.