Treatment for Enlarged Prostate
Depending on the size of the prostate and severity of symptoms, different treatments may be recommended for BPH (enlarged prostate). At American Prostate Centers, we want men to understand the options available to them so that they can make well-informed choices about their health.
Most men will experience benign prostatic hyperplasia as they age, but not all will have severe symptoms. While you can’t prevent BPH, you can make lifestyle changes to keep your prostate healthy before you experience symptoms, or to improve symptoms of BPH. Leading a healthy lifestyle is also beneficial to prevent other diseases. At American Prostate Centers, our affiliated physicians will help you pick the treatment option that is right for you.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity can increase your risk of developing BPH and prostate cancer. Extra weight increases abdominal pressure, leading to increased bladder and intravesical (within the bladder) pressure, which can make BPH symptoms much worse. It also increases the chance of developing heart disease, diabetes type 2, and a host of other conditions. Losing and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce your symptoms.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet is good practice for your overall health and helps lower your risk of serious diseases or conditions. A low-fat diet, high in vegetables and fruit may help with symptoms of BPH, and lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction.
Limit or Avoid Certain Foods & Drinks
Diets high in red meat and dairy may increase your risk of developing BPH. It’s important to avoid those foods and spicy or acidic foods that tend to inflame your bladder and increase symptoms of BPH. Limiting processed foods, foods high in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol may also help reduce your symptoms.
Get moving! It is surprising that a routine of regular physical activity may actually keep the prostate healthy and prevent some prostate disorders. Evidence shows even walking regularly at a moderate pace is beneficial.
Avoid Certain Medications
Men with BPH should avoid certain medications. Antihistamines (like Benadryl) and decongestants (like Sudafed) found in cold medicine can worsen BPH symptoms or cause urinary retention.
Training Your Bladder
You can help relieve your symptoms by working with your physician to train your bladder to hold urine longer and do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Make sure you are also emptying your bladder as thoroughly as possible with each urination.
The first line of treatment for mild or moderate symptoms of BPH is to try and treat the symptoms with medication. They may help to shrink the prostate gland and alleviate the urinary symptoms you may be having. Medication may be offered as an option before deciding on a surgical or minimally invasive procedure if your symptoms are not severe.
Alpha-blockers can work quickly and relax the muscles around the prostate, which causes less pressure on the urethra. Less pressure will encourage urine flow, to help with the urinary symptoms of BPH. Terazosin and doxazosin, used to treat high blood pressure, have been very useful for men with BPH.
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors
5-alpha reductase inhibitors can shrink an enlarged prostate gland. Shrinking the prostate gland to reduce its size helps will keep the urethra from being squeezed and causing urinary issues. Finasteride and dutasteride are two of the common 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors are generally prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction, but may also smooth muscles in the bladder and prostate to help ease BPH symptoms. It’s not prescribed as often as other medications.
Diuretics are commonly used for patients that are retaining water (such as swollen legs and ankles), speeding up the production of urine to help with incontinence. They may also help with symptoms of nightly urination if taken during the day. It may help reduce the amount of urine you produce at night.
Anticholinergics inhibit nerve impulses that are responsible for various bodily functions. In cases of BPH, they are used to treat an overactive bladder. This class of drugs relaxes the bladder muscle, reducing the urge to frequently urinate.
Desmopressin has been an effective treatment for nocturia, or nightly urination. It decreases night urine output, which decreases the number of nocturia episodes. This helps patients get a more restful sleep, without getting up many times to urinate.
Minimally Invasive Enlarged Prostate Treatment
Many men may think TURP or a UroLift may be the only options available to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Both procedures may require a longer recovery time and a higher risk of complications and unwanted side effects. With recent medical advances and powerful imaging technology, our affiliated physicians offer Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE), a minimally invasive-image guided procedure with fewer complications that requires no hospital stay.
Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)
Prostate Artery Embolization is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure used to treat BPH (enlarged prostates) without the need for surgery. PAE uses a catheter that is inserted through the groin or wrist to block the blood flow to the prostate, causing it to shrink.
PAE vs. TURP
A transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) removes excess tissue from the enlarged prostate. TURP may cause heavy bleeding, erectile dysfunction, dry orgasm, and urinary tract infections, along with urinary problems after the procedure. It is not recommended for men over 65. PAE, however, has a lower risk of complications and has no age limit.
PAE vs. UroLift
A UroLift places tiny implants on each side of the prostate to hold prostate tissue out of the way and open up the urethra. UroLift procedures may cause more side effects, such as burning with urination and pelvic pain. It also is only a temporary solution and has limitations on prostate size, treating only smaller glands. PAE, however, is an effective enlarged prostate treatment with long-term effects and has no limits on prostate size to perform PAE.
What is the Best Treatment for BPH?
At American Prostate Centers, we recommend Prostate Artery Embolization. PAE is a minimally invasive-image guided procedure, performed by an experienced interventional radiologist. The risk of side effects like sexual dysfunction, heavy bleeding, and urinary tract infections is less than 1% of major complications and 1-3% of minor complications. Men who wish to have fewer complications and want to keep their sexual function should strongly consider PAE treatment
PAE only requires a tiny incision that causes minimal scarring. It’s usually performed on an outpatient basis and requires no hospital stay. PAE patients usually can go home 2 hours after surgery and patients start feeling themselves after about 4 days, with total recovery 6-10 days after treatment. Patients can also resume normal activities the day after the procedure.
What to Expect from Prostate Artery Embolization
Prostate Artery Embolization FAQ
The rate of success for Prostate Artery Embolization is very high. Over 90% of men experience relief of their symptoms within the first 6 months. With other treatments, there is a chance to cause unwanted sexual side effects. We can assure you, PAE does not affect sexual performance.
The best candidates for PAE are men with moderate to severe BPH who experience urinary symptoms and discomfort or pain in the lower pelvic region. Frequent urination, incontinence, inability to urinate, slow or irregular urination, and erectile dysfunction are some symptoms. You should also choose PAE if you wish to preserve sexual function, you have a prostate size over 80 ml, or you have symptoms that are not controlled well by medication.
PAE does not hurt. You do not require general anesthesia and patients can go home the same day. A local anesthetic will be placed at the entry site for the catheter. When the particles are injected, you may feel a warm sensation. Once the procedure is done, the catheter is withdrawn with virtually no blood loss.
Request an appointment at your nearest American Endovascular affiliated center.
Our Prostate Specialists
Our board-certified, affiliated physicians at American Prostate Centers are among the nation’s most experienced in treating men with BPH. Dr. Mobley will work closely with you to find the best treatment to help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
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