We may not like discussing about our receding hairline or growing waistline, but few facts about age can’t be denied or worse, if not known can be serious.

Prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign enlargement of prostate(BEP) is one such condition which is common after the age of 50 years in men. Let us discuss few facts and myths about prostate gland.

Prostate gland is a walnut shape gland situated below the bladder and commonly grows in size as the age advances. Two growth spurts occur in concern to prostate gland, one at puberty and other after the age of 30 years. But the symptoms of prostate enlargement starts manifesting clinically only after age of 50 years.

As the prostate enlarges it compress the urinary tube called urethra leading to various urinary symptoms. Bladder tries to compensate it by working hard trying to push urine out. Eventually bladder gets fatigued and the amount of urine retained increases to such extent that patient lands in emergency department with complete inability to pass urine. Some patients may continue to dribble urine with discomfort. Few patients may land up with urinary tract infection or bladder stones. Few unfortunate ones may land up in reflux nephropathy and kidney failure.

Do you know the warning signs and symptoms of prostate enlargement? These are the common things to be looked at,

  • Increase frequency of urination at night – to be precise increase number of times getting up from bed during sleep.
  • Increased day time frequency
  • Urgency
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Burning while passing urine
  • Delayed start of urination
  • Poor stream of urine
  • Thin stream of urine
  • Sense of incomplete urination
  • Interrupted stream

After thorough medical and rectal examination, urologist may ask for ultrasound abdomen, urine tests and few blood tests. You may be also asked to undergo uroflowrate and/or urodynamic test.

Beside medical treatment for prostate, if need be, we have (HOLEP) laser treatment for removal of prostate.

Advantages of laser prostatectomy over conventional treatment are,

  • Less blood loss
  • Early recovery
  • Less hospitalization
  • Less pain post op
  • Can be operated on patients with anticoagulants/blood thinners
  • Can be operated on patients with pace makers
  • Can be operated for high risk patients
  • Can be operated for even large sized glands with safety

The myth – Size matters. No, it doesn’t! This is the biggest myth about an enlarged prostate. Big symptoms may indicate a small enlargement, and vice versa. The severity of the signs simply does not always correlate with size.

Also, while the symptoms suggest an enlarged prostate, they also might indicate other conditions that require further examination. Signs of an enlarged prostate, for example, can be similar to those of prostate cancer. See urologist and put your fear behind.