Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that refers to the enlargement of the prostate, the walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate contributes part of the fluid that semen consists of. Additionally the prostate encircles the male urethra which is the passageway for urine to flow from the bladder to and then through the penis.
The prostate is the source of much publicity since the advent of PSA (prostate specific antigen), the blood test that may be helpful in the early detection of prostate cancer. BPH however refers to a benign non-malignant enlargement of the gland. Patients with BPH may also have coexisting prostate cancer.
As men age, the prostate usually enlarges and patient’s start to experience symptoms in their 50’s and 60’s. It has been estimated that 50% of men in their 60’s and up to 85% of men in their 70’s are bothered by the symptoms of BPH.
As the prostate grows, it compresses the urethra, and as a result symptoms occur. The most common symptoms include urinary frequency, urgency, a weak stream which may be interrupted, and waking at night to urinate.
It wasn’t that long ago that a procedure known as a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate; or commonly referred to as the “roto-rooter”) was one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the
In the upcoming weeks we will discuss in greater details the significance of BPH, the medical management of the disease, minimally invasive surgical options and traditional surgical therapy.