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With a significant portion of the male population age 60 and over suffering from BPH, treatment options are a major topic. There are a variety of treatments for an enlarged prostate divided into two categories, surgical and nonsurgical.
For most men, surgery for BPH is unnecessary. While BPH surgery may help to reduce the size of the prostate, it rarely relieves the symptoms associated with the condition such as frequent urge to urinate, difficulty urinating and inability to empty bladder.
The most common surgery for BPH is TURP, or transurethral resection of the prostate. This surgery does not require an incision, instead, surgical instruments are passed through the urethra to the prostate. TURP is generally performed using a general or spinal anesthetic. TURP is only recommended for men who have severe symptoms and have not responded well to other nonsurgical treatment options.
Other BPH surgery options may include laser therapy, microwave therapy, or needle ablation. Laser therapy for BPH involves the use of a laser to remove the part of the prostate blocking the urethra. As with TURP, BPH laser therapy is performed under anesthesia. Studies of men who have undergone BPH laser therapy show that the results are similar to TURP with an increased need for repeat treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for an enlarged prostate. The risks and side effects of BPH surgery often out weight the benefits and most doctors will recommend nonsurgical treatment to relieve symptoms. There is a wide range of nonsurgical treatments including medication, herbal remedies and lifestyle changes.
Some physicians will prescribe medication to relieve the frustrating urination problems caused by BPH. Typically, the side effects for BPH medications are low, however the symptoms often return when you stop taking the medication.
There is a lot of buzz about herbal remedies and so called natural treatments for BPH. The science to support these claims is not very strong and men are cautioned against taking herbal supplements without first consulting a physician.
The best BPH treatment is often called "watchful waiting". Most men can alleviate enlarged prostate symptoms by making simple lifestyle changes like watching fluid intake particularly in the evening and relaxation techniques to stimulate the urge to urinate.
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