When it comes to your health, the term “benign” is usually met with relief since no cancer is present. But that doesn’t mean the issue can’t create complications, which is certainly true of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
At our practice, board-certified urologist Dr. Robert Cornell specializes in BPH, helping our patients in the Houston area identify the problem and mitigate any complications that may crop up.
Here’s a quick look at how to spot the warning signs of BPH and what steps we can take.
BPH is a common condition that describes an enlarged prostate, which can interfere with your urinary health. Your prostate gland produces much of your semen, which is designed to nourish and protect your sperm. When you pass through puberty, your prostate gland embarks on its first growth spurt, becoming large enough to fulfill its duties during your reproductive years.
From your mid-20s onward, the gland continues to enlarge during a second growth phase, and this phase pretty much continues from there on out, albeit slowly.
This explains why half of men between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH and up to 9 out of 10 men over the age of 80.
While this slow growth is perfectly natural, because of the location of your prostate gland near your bladder and urethra, the gland can become large enough to interfere with your urinary function.
As your prostate presses into your urethra and bladder, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling like your bladder is full, even after you void
- A weak stream of urine
- A strong urge to urinate
- Needing to stop and start urination several times when you urinate
- Straining to urinate
- Trouble starting urination
- Issues with ending urination
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to come see us so we can check the size of your prostate.
Complications from BPH
In addition to the complications that affect how you urinate, BPH can lead to urinary tract infections, which may travel up to your kidneys. These infections can occur anywhere along your urinary tract and may lead to further complications like bladder stones and bladder dysfunction.
In severe cases, your prostate gland may block your urination entirely, which is a medical emergency that requires prompt care.
It’s also important to note that BPH and prostate cancer can develop at the same time, so it’s always a good idea to have us check you out.
If you suspect you may have BPH, we can perform a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test as well as a digital exam to check the size of your prostate through your rectum. Dr. Cornell also uses a BPH Symptom Score index to further assess the problem.
Once we have an idea about the severity of your BPH, we can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs, which may include:
- Dietary changes
- Prostiva® radiofrequency thermotherapy to perform transurethral needle ablation
- PlasmaButton™ vaporization
The bottom line is that the earlier we can take action against your BPH, the better your results. To get started, simply give us a call at (281)607-5300 or use our easy online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.