Many men in their late 50s begin to have difficulties related to the urge to urinate frequently, having the need to urinate many times overnight, and possibly not getting to the bathroom in time and experiencing incontinence. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is what these patients most likely suffer from.
Beginning in the early 1990’s a shift in treatment occurred from this being a disease that was treated exclusively by surgical intervention, to a disease that was predominantly treated with medical therapy. The surgical therapy that was used was a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) which is the removal of the prostate gland that occurs with the use of an instrument that is placed through the urethra (cystoscope) and the prostate gland is removed. The easiest way to think of the procedure is to visualize an orange. When you peel an orange, the rind is left behind, and the inside is eaten. If the prostate were an orange, when doing a TURP, the rind (the prostate capsule) is left behind, and the inside (the enlarged portion of the gland) is removed. It is this inner portion that is responsible for the symptoms that are associated with an enlarged prostate such as frequency, a poor flow, incomplete bladder emptying, voiding frequently overnight, and possible urinary incontinence.
Medication vs. surg