Enlarged prostate (BPH)

Enlarged prostate, also called BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), is a common condition affecting approximately 5 out of 10 men above the age of 50, and 8 out of 10 men above the age of 60.

In case you have one or several of the following symptoms you might have an enlarged prostate:

  • Frequent urination - especially at night.
  • Difficulties in initiating voiding.
  • Interrupted and/or weak stream.
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely.
  • Need to urinate less than two hours after urinating.
  • Incontinence.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Pain during urination or foul smelling urine (may be a sign of urinary tract infection).

Is BPH a health risk?

BPH is not dangerous, but it may lead to more severe health problems over time. Therefore, if you experience one or several of these symptoms you should consult your doctor.

BPH does not lead to prostate cancer. However, some of the symptoms of prostate cancer and BPH are similar, so you should consult your doctor in any case of doubt.

What causes BPH?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men, positioned just below the bladder, and around the urethra which is the tube that transfers urine from the bladder. As men age the prostate enlarges but the enlargement varies from one man to another. For some men, this might cause a problem with urination. BPH occurs when the enlarged prostate compresses the urethra and thereby compromises the urine flow.

image1
Normal prostate
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Enlarged prostate

How is BPH diagnosed?

The Urologist will diagnose the condition usually based on an examination of your urinary flow, bladder function, and a visual inspection (also called cystoscopy).

What are the treatment options?

Treatment methods for BPH vary from medications to surgery or stenting.

Medications

Medical treatment of BPH is divided into two major groups; alfa-reductase inhibitors and Alfa receptor antagonists. The former decreases gland size, with no effect for the first 6 month and only 2-4 in 10 patients experience good effect. The latter does not reduce the gland size itself, but the muscular tone of the urethra, and hence the outflow obstruction. The effect isn't maximal until after 3 months, and only 3-5 out of 10 patients will have the full effect.

Surgery

Surgical techniques span from laser cutting or evaporation of the prostate, over microwave or water balloon heating to surgical cutting of the prostate tissue (TURP). These techniques are effective, but they have a huge impact on the patients' life as they require general anesthesia (the patient must be fit for surgery) and include a high risk of severe adverse effects.

Stenting

Memokath™ are Safe, simple and reliable. The Memokath™ stent for BPH can be inserted under local anesthesia, you may leave the hospital the same day, and the results are immediate. The Memokath™ stent is a spiral Ni-Ti alloy tube inserted in the prostate urethra that re-opens the obstructed prostatic urethra enabling normal flow of urine. The stent is a long-term treatment for BPH and prostate cancer obstruction and may be left in place for years - some patients have successfully had the stent implanted for up to 7 years. The Memokath™ stent is easy to insert, and may be just as easily removed or changed if necessary.