How is BPH Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms of BPH, the first step is to be evaluated by your urologist, who will perform a thorough physical exam. Your physician will review your medical history and take bloodwork to confirm your BPH diagnosis to rule out any other conditions that may have similar symptoms. At American Prostate Centers, our affiliated physicians are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of BPH. If symptoms progress, your doctor may refer you to one of our affiliated specialists who can help confirm your diagnosis and provide the right treatment for your enlarged prostate.
Digital Rectal Exam
A digital rectal exam, or DRE, will help the doctor assess the size and condition of the prostate gland. An enlarged prostate may be felt through the wall of the rectum. Your physician will insert a gloved finger into the rectum, which is located next to the prostate. With BPH, the prostate should feel smooth and firm.
A urinalysis may be performed to help with the diagnosis of BPH. The doctor will ask for a urine sample to send to a lab to be tested for infections or other problems. Since other conditions may have the same symptoms, a urine test can rule out infections or other issues.
Blood Urea Nitrogen Test
A blood urea nitrogen test (BUN) is a common test that measures the amount of urine nitrogen in the blood, and how well your kidneys are working. Urine nitrogen is a waste product that your liver produces; this test shows how well your kidneys remove it from your blood.
Prostate Specific Antigen Test
Another laboratory blood test that is essential in diagnosing BPH is a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The prostate gland produces a protein called PSA. Elevated levels of PSA are higher in men with benign prostate hyperplasia, infection, inflammation, or prostate cancer.
Urodynamic tests may include a post-void residual measurement, to measure how much urine is left in your bladder after you pee. A uroflowmetry test measures your flow rate, or how fast you release urine. A urodynamic pressure test uses a meter to determine how much pressure your bladder requires for you to urinate.
Further diagnosis may require a transrectal ultrasound. An ultrasound probe is inserted into your rectum to measure and evaluate your prostate.
What to Do After You are Diagnosed with BPH?
If you are experiencing moderate symptoms and have been diagnosed with BPH, your doctor may monitor you until your symptoms require intervention. The treatment plan for your enlarged prostate depends on your unique situation. Your physician will take into account your age, medical history, overall health, the size of your prostate gland, and how your symptoms are impacting your life. If you are experiencing minimal symptoms at first, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting and some lifestyle changes to help control your symptoms.
- Monitor your symptoms
- Stay active and follow a healthy diet
- Limit beverages at night and caffeine and alcohol
- Schedule bathroom visits to try to urinate at regular times
- Go to the bathroom when you first feel the urge
- Double voiding – urinate and then urinate again a few moments later
- Discuss your treatment options with your doctor if symptoms get worse
Treatment for BPH
If you have been diagnosed with BPH and your symptoms get more severe, you may need further treatment. Your treatment plan may include medication or minimally invasive procedures to help you urinate or reduce the size of your prostate. Our affiliated physicians will review your options and determine if you are a candidate for Prostate Artery Embolization, a minimally invasive treatment with fewer side effects, that does not require surgery. PAE offers the following benefits:
- Low risk of complications
- Low risk of sexual side effects
- Same day procedure
- No hospital stay
- Quick recovery time
- Effectively reduces the size of the prostate
- Relieves uncomfortable symptoms
Our Prostate Specialists
The American Prostate Centers affiliated interventional radiologists are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of PAE. They utilize the latest technology and minimally invasive techniques to deliver the highest quality outcomes for patients suffering from an enlarged prostate. Dr. David Mobley is one of the few interventional radiologists to perform this treatment.