By Harry Tsai, M.D. –
Unfortunately, aging brings on additional health concerns. One of these is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a condition where the prostate gland becomes enlarged. This is extremely common in men.
There are two main stages of a man’s life when his prostate undergoes significant growth (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). The first stage occurs when men are going through early puberty. During this stage, the prostate doubles in size. At the age of 25, the second stage follows. This second stage can often result in BPH years later. Symptoms don’t typically show until after the age of forty. Over 50 percent of men in their sixties and 90 percent of men in their seventies have BPH.
What are the symptoms of BPH? Typical symptoms are related to the urethra. The gradual loss of bladder function leaves men with problems urinating (U.S. Department of Health and Services). Having a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream or feeling urgency, leaking or dribbling are symptoms of BPH. Also, the experience of more frequent urination at night is a telltale sign.
Are there non-surgical treatments for BPH? Yes, there are two treatments that are alternatives to surgery. The first is called Cooled Thermotherapy Microwave. The second is Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA), often called Prostiva. Both of these procedures have the benefit of taking less than 30 minutes to complete. They are performed in the doctor’s office with oral sedation such as Valium, a pain pill, and an antibiotic.
After these procedures are performed, patients go home with a catheter for 24 to 48 hours. The catheter is removed during the patient’s follow-up visit. A soft temporary prostatic stent is put in its place; this is called a Spanner. The Spanner eliminates the need for a Foley bag. This stent is left in for 2 to 4 weeks, and is eventually removed by pulling on a string.
How soon will results be noticed? Patients should begin to see results within the first 6 to 8 weeks. They will notice improvement in their urinary symptoms such as frequency, hesitancy, and weak stream. These procedures last between 3 to 7 years and either procedure can be repeated if necessary. For men who have existing medical conditions such as cardiac risks, surgery is not always an option. These procedures often provide a viable alternative to surgery.
Are there any side effects? Some complications are bleedings, dysuria, infection, and urinary retention. However, all of these are temporary. The long-term benefits of these procedures usually outweigh any of these difficulties.
When undergoing any procedure, it is important of find a doctor who is knowledgeable and experienced in these matters. Dr. Harold Tsai, a Fort Myers urologist, has performed roughly 500 of these procedures over the last eight years. He has also used over 200 prostatic stents in conjunction with his patients. If you think that you might be suffering with BPH, call (239) 985-1900 for a visit with Dr. Harold Tsai today.
We have moved: 13370 Plantation Road, Suite 3
Fort Myers Fl 33912
126 N Del Prado, Suite 103
Cape Coral Florida 33909