The National Institutes of Health estimates that benign prostate hyperplasia—commonly known as enlarged prostate—affects more than 50 percent of men over age 60 and as many as 90 percent of men over the age of 70.
Urologists at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center are experienced with the full range of medical and surgical interventions available for enlarged prostate. Treatment is dictated by the type and severity of symptoms experienced by a patient, and urologists recommend those treatment modalities that they feel are most effective and will provide the greatest degree of symptom relief.
Medical Treatments for Enlarged Prostate
- Alpha Blockers: These medications work by relaxing the smooth muscle of the prostate and bladder neck, thus reducing bladder outlet obstruction and improving urine flow.
- 5 Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: These medications shrink the prostate by inhibiting production of hormones that cause swelling in benign cells, and are most effective in men with significant prostate enlargement.
Surgical Treatments for Enlarged Prostate
For those who experience bleeding as a result of enlarged prostate, are unresponsive to medical therapy or continue to have difficulty voiding, one of the following surgical approached may be recommended:
- Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP): A narrow instrument with a scope is guided through the urethra, and small cutting tools are inserted through the scope and used to remove excess prostate tissue.
- Holmium Laser Ablation of the Prostate (HoLAP): HoLAP is a less-invasive alternative to TURP that involves the use of laser energy to vaporize obstructing prostate tissue.
- Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP): This laser technique is an alternative to open or laparoscopic prostatectomy for patients with more extreme forms of prostate enlargement. A high-energy laser is used to destroy obstructing prostate tissue, which is then evacuated through the bladder.