[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hyperplasia of the prostate is another name for the condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatic hypertrophy, or an enlarged prostate. Hyperplasia of the prostate means that the walnut-shaped gland is abnormally swollen, affecting the male urinary and reproductive systems. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the probability of suffering from BPH increases with age and it is thought that all men suffer from it if they live long enough.

Despite the fact that it is non-cancerous and doesn’t threaten patients’ lives, Hyperplasia of the Prostate can cause discomfort and inconvenience to those who have it. The prostate gland has two lobes and is located below the bladder, about halfway between the rectum and the base of the penis. Its main function is to produce a fluid that is expelled with semen through the urethra during ejaculation. The prostate also surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body, which is why the gland’s enlargement may squeeze of partly block the urethra.

Development and Causes of Hyperplasia of the Prostate

The causes for the development of hyperplasia of the prostate are not completely understood, and it is known that there are no specific risk factors that contribute for it. It is, however, related to alterations in hormone balance and cell growth. “The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a man’s life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase,” the NIH explains.

Therefore, almost every man will suffer from hyperplasia of the prostate at some point. However, men whose testicles were removed while young due to cancer or any other condition cannot suffer from hyperplasia of the prostate, while in the case of men whose testicles were removed while already experiencing symptoms of the condition the size of the prostate may reduce on its own. BPH can be inconvenient and cause problems urinating, but it is not considered a severe disease.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hyperplasia of the Prostate

Hyperplasia of the prostate is a progressive dissease that gets worse with time, which is why the majority of men may not even experience any symptom during their lifetime. However, as the prostate enlarges, it obstructs the urethra and consequently affects urine flow, causing symptoms such as urinary abnormal frequency, urinary urgency, difficulty initiating the urinary stream (hesitancy), interrupted or weak urine stream, incomplete bladder emptying, feeling of persistent residual urine, need strain or push to initiate and maintain urination, decreased force of stream, and loss of small amounts of urine due to a poor urinary stream (dribbling).

To confirm a diagnosis of hyperplasia of the prostate, physicians often request a familialy and medical history and complete physical examination, including examination of the patient’s body to check for discharge from the urethra, enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin, a swollen or tender scrotum, as well as taping on specific areas of the patient’s body. Doctors will also perform a digital rectal exam — a routine physical exam for men age 40 or older during which the physician briefly inserts a lubricated finger into the rectum to probe the prostate. Additional medical tests requested are urinalysis, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, transrectal ultrasound, and a biopsy.

Treatment and Prognosis of Hyperplasia of the Prostate

There are different treatment options for hyperplasia of the prostate, including lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive procedures, surgery, or a combination of treatments, which are recommended taking into consideration patients’ age, physical condition, severity and symptoms of the disease. Lifestyle alterations include reducing intake of liquids, avoiding or reducing intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, avoiding or monitoring the use of medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics, training the bladder to hold more urine for longer periods, exercising pelvic floor muscles, and preventing or treating constipation — recommended for patients whose symptoms are mild or slight.

Medications include alpha blockers, which relax the smooth muscles of the prostate and bladder neck to improve urine flow and reduce bladder blockage; phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, which are mainly used for erectile dysfunction, and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors to block the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which accumulates in the prostate and may cause prostate growth. In addition, minimally invasive procedures are able to relieve the symptoms when medications are not effective, and these are transurethral needle ablation, transurethral microwave thermotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, transurethral electrovaporization, water-induced thermotherapy and prostatic stent insertion.

Finally, there is the option of surgery for long-term treatment. The most common type is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), during which the interior of the prostate is removed, but patients may also undergo laser surgery, open prostatectomy, or transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP). Hyperplasia of the prostate is a disease that may go unnoticed for years, but if not treated, can develop into acute urinary retention, chronic, or long lasting, urinary retention, blood in the urine, urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder damage, kidney damage, or bladder stones.

Note: BPH News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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