The choice of treatment for an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), depends on the severity of symptoms, the impact on quality of life, and individual health considerations. Here are some common treatment options:
- Watchful Waiting or Active Surveillance:
- In cases where symptoms are mild and not significantly affecting quality of life, a healthcare provider may recommend monitoring without immediate intervention. Regular check-ups will be scheduled to monitor the progression of symptoms.
- Lifestyle Changes:
- Making certain lifestyle modifications can help manage symptoms. These may include avoiding caffeine and alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, and practicing pelvic floor exercises.
- Alpha-blockers: These medications relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder neck, improving urine flow.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors: These drugs can reduce the size of the prostate by blocking the action of hormones that contribute to its growth.
- Combination therapy: Sometimes, a combination of alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may be prescribed.
- Minimally Invasive Procedures:
- Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (TUMT): This procedure uses microwave heat to shrink the prostate.
- Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA): Radiofrequency energy is used to create targeted thermal injury to the prostate tissue.
- Laser Therapy: Various types of laser procedures can be used to remove or vaporize excess prostate tissue.
- Surgical Options:
- Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP): This is a common surgical procedure in which excess prostate tissue is removed.
- Open Prostatectomy: In more severe cases, open surgery to remove part of the prostate may be recommended.
Treatment options will be determined by characteristics such as prostate size, intensity of symptoms, the patient’s overall health, and personal preferences. Individuals with an enlarged prostate should discuss their symptoms and concerns with a healthcare physician in order to decide the best course of action for their personal case.