Benign prostate disease or Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the enlargement of the prostate gland which affects many men, mainly those over 50 years of age.

The prostate gland sits at the base of the bladder. It surrounds the urethra which is the tube that leads from the bladder, down the penis and allows urine to be evacuated. As the body ages so the prostate gland (which is made up of mainly 3 large lobes) enlarges and in doing this it tightens around the urethra causing a narrowing of the tube and making urination more difficult.   This can be uncomfortable initially as the bladder does not empty properly but can become a total occlusion of the urethra and urination is then impossible. This is an extremely painful emergency situation which requires catheterization to relieve the urinary retention and then some form of intervention to reduce the size of the prostate. In the initial stages of enlargement, a visit to a Urologist will tell the patient whether they need immediate treatment or whether the situation should be monitored over a period of time.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treatment

The treatment available until recently was surgical, requiring a general anaesthetic and the removal of part or parts of the prostate lobes. This can be done through the insertion of a fibre optic instrument through the penis and be removing the prostate segments, or it can be done as an open operation through the abdomen. Both treatments require hospitalisation for a few days, a general anaesthetic and a painful recovery period of a few weeks. There is of course, as with any surgery the risk of bleeding, post operation.

Recently with the development of new techniques and equipment, there is now a procedure which requires a minimally invasive technique called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treatment of inserting tiny particles into the artery feeding the prostate, which blocks off the nourishment to the gland. The patient is hospitalised for 24 hours at most, has no anaesthetic and can return to a normal lifestyle in a day or two. The prostate will shrink rapidly over the next week or two and the symptoms will disappear. The procedure does not interfere with the bladder, so there is no problem with passing urine, which can occur with the surgical procedure.

These are the procedures available for the treatment of enlarged benign prostate disease. For you the patient to make a decision about the correct procedure for your situation you need to discuss with your urologist which procedure would be the correct one for the problem.