The content found on this page is for informational purposes only as Dr. Werthman does not treat enlarged prostate in Los Angeles
One of the most common problems a man faces as he ages is difficulty with urination. This is usually caused by a benign prostate enlargement.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland located beneath the urinary bladder, deep inside the male pelvis. It surrounds the urethra (urine channel) like a donut.
The prostate begins to enlarge on a microscopic cellular level when a man is in his late twenties or early thirties. In some men, the prostate continues to grow, which may cause an impingement on the urethra and restrict urine flow. The bladder muscle may have to work harder to generate enough force to push the urine past the blockage. The bladder muscle may even become enlarged (hypertrophy) or irritated.
What is the prostate gland?
The prostate is a small rubbery reproductive gland roughly the size of a ping pong ball, located deep inside the groin between the base of the penis and the bladder that helps to propel ejaculate through the urethra and secrets some of the fluid that makes up semen.>
What does the prostate gland do?
Its most important function is producing a fluid that makes up part of a man’s semen. Sperm from the testicles makes up the other portion. Muscles in the prostate gland also act to forcefully press semen into the urethra and expel it outward during ejaculation.>
Why does the prostate gland get enlarged?
Enlargement of the prostate is considered a natural occurrence as men get older. As one gets older, the cells in the prostate gland multiple, causing the prostate to swell, squeeze the urethra, and limit the flow of urine. Enlargement of the prostate does not automatically mean one has prostate cancer, nor that one is at an increased risk of prostate cancer, but the condition does also occur in cases of prostate cancer.
Who does an enlarged prostate gland affect?
Enlargement of the prostate is common among men as young as 50-years-old and gets progressively more common as age increases.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?
An enlarged prostate gland may either be asymptomatic or may have some of the following symptoms:
- Urge to urinate often
- Urgency in needing to urinate
- Waking from sleep to use the bathroom frequently
- Weak or broken urine stream
- Difficulty emptying the bladder when peeing
- Urination is painful or bloody
How frequently and how intensely you experience these symptoms will depend on the severity of the enlargement. Even a slightly enlarged prostate can cause significant changes as described above.
What is BPH?
BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Benign means the condition is not cancerous. BPH is a common condition in males as they get older. It primarily affects the flow of urine out of the bladder but may cause bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems if untreated.
How is BPH diagnosed?
BPH is most commonly diagnosed through a digital rectal exam that involves inserting a lubricated and gloved finger into the rectum, to gently feel the gland to determine if it is abnormal or enlarged. A blood test can also be done to look for PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, or a biopsy can be done when cancer is suspected.
How is an enlarged prostate treated?
Treatments for BPH include medication, laser, or microwave therapy to shrink the gland. Other minimally-invasive treatment protocols include removing all or part of the gland. Antibiotics can be used to treat underlying infections.
What should I do if I suspect I have BPH or an enlarged prostate?
If you think you may have BPH or an enlarged prostate gland, contact our office to schedule a personal consultation.
The symptoms of prostate enlargement can include waking up at night to urinate (nocturia), frequent urination, difficulty starting or stopping the urine stream, dribbling, urgency, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, or loss of urinary control. This can lead to urinary tract infections, stone formation and kidney damage.
Occasionally the blockage may become so severe that urination becomes impossible. These symptoms may be intermittent and can be exacerbated by such things as over the counter cold medications.
Diagnosing an Enlarged Prostate
The diagnosis of prostate enlargement is made after a complete history and physical examination. The prostate is inspected to determine its size and to check for any firm areas or lumps which could indicate prostate cancer. A blood test that measures the PSA (prostate specific antigen) can help detect prostate cancer at an early stage.
It is recommended that men age fifty or older have this test on a yearly basis. A uroflow test and post void residual urine check are performed to assess the degree of urinary restriction and amount of urine retained in the bladder after urination. Based on these and other tests, the problem is classified as mild, moderate or severe.
Treating an Enlarged Prostate
Treatment options for enlarged prostate are based on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s wishes. We offer a full range of therapies from oral medications and diet modification to surgical intervention and prostate vaporization.
In the last few years, advances in our understanding of prostate physiology have allowed for the development of two types of drugs which reduce the size and tension of the prostate gland. Technological advances have also aided in the refinement of instruments and surgical techniques. Prostate removal can be performed safely on an outpatient basis and with minimal bleeding or discomfort.
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