BPH are initials that are used as short-hand for benign prostate hypertrophy or benign prostate hyperplasia.  BPH is a condition that occurs when non-cancerous prostate tissue grows naturally because of aging.  Prostate growth begins at puberty and continues throughout the life of a man at different rates of growth depending upon his genetic background or family history. Prostate growth can cause obstruction or blockage of the urinary channel (known as the urethra) as it travels through the center of the prostate gland.  As the prostate gland enlarges the overgrown tissue can pinch or compress the urethra causing a slowing of the urinary stream.

Occasionally the compression will cause total blockage of urinary flow which creates an emergent situation called urinary retention. Urinary retention requires the emergent placement of a catheter or tube into the bladder to drain the urine.


Treatment of BPH often involves the use of medications which are designed to relax or even shrink the prostate tissue, and therefore relieve some of the obstructive symptoms. 

If medications fail, are expensive, or cause undesirable side effects, several minimally invasive therapies are available to treat symptomatic BPH.   For example, Urolift implantation, Microwave therapy, radio frequency energy therapy (Prostiva TUNA), and steam (Rezum) therapies are available as well.

Surgical options are also used to physically remove the overgrown prostate tissue by trimming with electrical energy or laser energy through a cystoscope (which is a telescope designed to look through the urethra and into the bladder). This outpatient procedure has been performed for many decades and is called a TURP or transurethral resection of the prostate.

Your urology specialist will be able to examine you and offer guidance for the proper choices available to you for optimal therapy.  Many factors affect that decision including prior medical or surgical history as well as current medications taken.


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