How to Treat an Enlarged Prostate
Some patients with enlarged prostate better known as benign prostatic hyperplasia may not need any treatment at all if they only have mild symptoms. With mild symptoms, most physicians will keep a watchful eye on the situation instead of recommending any type of treatment.
How to Treat an Enlarged Prostate
If the symptoms become severe, there are various treatment options available such as medication, surgery, Saw Palmetto, and minimally invasive treatments like Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy, Interstitial Laser Coagulation, Transurethral Needle Ablation, Transurethral Electrovaporization, and Intraurethral Stents.
Medications used for the treatment of enlarged prostate include Proscar and Avodart. Both of these drugs inhibit the production of the hormone that affects the growth of the prostate gland. These two medications are often best for men that have larger prostates, but other medications have been just as successful for men that do not have the larger prostate. These drugs are alpha-blockers. Alpha-Blockers relax the muscle in the prostate, which reduces the tension on the urine tube thus aiding with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. The alpha-blockers most commonly used are Hytrin, Cardura, Uroxatral, and Flomax. Some doctors prescribe both types of drugs for better success. Side effects can include weakness and light-headedness.
Types of Surgery
Two types of surgeries are available for the treatment of enlarged prostate. The most common but more complicated procedure is known as transurethral resection of the prostate. During this surgery, the tissue that is blocking the urethra will be removed. This procedure is successful but does have side effects, which can include infection, incontinence, impotence, and bleeding. The les complicated procedure is known as transurethral incision of the prostate. During this surgery instead of removing tissue, the urethra is widened by making small cuts where the urethra and bladder join.
Minimally invasive treatments can aid in reducing the size of the prostate and provide relief of urinary obstruction. These types of treatments are less invasive and are not as damaging as surgery. The cost is less and fewer side effects are noted. Side effects can include irritation during healing and frequent urination. These treatments include Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy, Interstitial Laser Coagulation, Transurethral Needle Ablation, Transurethral Electrovaporization, and Intraurethral Stents.
Transurethral microwave Thermotherapy
Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy uses microwave energy that delivers temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit to the prostate through the use of an antenna that is positioned in the prostate by way of a catheter.
Interstitial Laser Coagulation
Interstitial Laser Coagulation uses a specifically designed laser fiber that delivers heat to the inside of the prostate. The fiber is placed in the prostate by using instruments put into the urethra.
Transurethral Needle Ablation uses low-level radiofrequency energy, which is delivered through two small needles to burn away an area of the enlarged prostate.
Transurethral Electrovaporization uses electrical energy applied through an electrode to quickly heat prostate tissue, which turns the tissue cells into steam.
Intraurethral Stents are wire devices shaped like springs or coils that are placed in the prostate channel at the location where the urethra runs through the gland to aid in keeping the channel from tightening around the urethra.
Some men are choosing an all-natural treatment that is showing promise for the treatment of enlarged prostates. The herb called Saw Palmetto is believed to block the formation of the hormone DHT that is responsible for the growth of the prostate gland. Some studies have shown that the herb may be as effective as Proscar, while a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed there were no improvements.