What is the prostate?

The prostate is the walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra in a male. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) surgery?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) surgery refers to a variety of surgical procedures used to treat a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia.

BPH, also known as an enlarged prostate, is a benign, or non-cancerous, condition that affects many men as they age. It is the most common prostate problem in men over age 50. About half of men in their 50s and as many as 90% of men in their 70s and 80s have enlarged prostates.

What happens if a man has benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

In BPH, the enlarged prostate squeezes or blocks the urethra. When men enter their 40s, the prostate begins to grow. If the prostate becomes too enlarged, it can cause problems with urination.

What are the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

Early symptoms of BPH are:

  • Slow or dribbling urine flow
  • A feeling that the bladder is not completely empty after urinating
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent need to get up at night to urinate

If left untreated, BPH can block the urethra further and lead to more serious symptoms, including:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder infections
  • Kidney damage
  • Being unable to urinate

Prostate cancer and infertility are not symptoms or causes of BPH. Benign prostatic hyperplasia does not cause erectile problems.

How is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) diagnosed?

If you experience any symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, you should seek medical help. Your doctor will begin an exam by asking about your symptoms. He or she will do a urinalysis and rectal exam to manually examine the prostate. A test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) will also be done to rule out prostate cancer.

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