Did you know that by age 55, about a quarter of all men develop an enlarged prostate, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? As men age, the numbers rise, with 50% having BPH by age 60 and 90% by age 85.
The good news is that an enlarged prostate doesn't mean you have prostate cancer, and it doesn’t increase your risk of getting this disease in the future. But that doesn’t mean BPH is free of all dangers.
At Urology Associates Medical Group, our providers are committed to giving men in Burbank, California, the safest and most effective treatments available when it comes to BPH. We also believe in educating our patients about the condition and how it affects their health.
Take a moment to learn what you need to know about an enlarged prostate and whether it’s dangerous to your health.
What is an enlarged prostate?
An enlarged prostate occurs when your prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland located near the urethra and responsible for producing seminal fluid, grows in size. This creates pressure on the urethra and can cause problematic symptoms.
Medical researchers still haven’t discovered the exact cause of BPH, but they do know that the prostate gland grows as you age. As such, the older you get, the more likely it is you’ll develop an enlarged prostate.
Other risk factors can cause you to experience symptoms earlier, such as a family history of BPH or a personal history of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Research also indicates that BPH may be linked to elevated testosterone levels and cellular changes in the testicles, which can be caused by age, diet, and other factors.
While BPH isn’t cancerous, it can trigger uncomfortable symptoms that may negatively affect your quality of life, including:
- Difficulting starting to urinate
- Slow urine stream or dribbling
- Frequent urge to urinate
- The need to frequently get up at night to urinate
- An inability to empty the bladder
- Pain during urination or after ejaculation
An enlarged prostate can also create changes in the color of your urine or the way it smells.
Is an enlarged prostate dangerous?
For many patients, when left untreated, BPH can eventually lead to the urethra becoming blocked. When this happens, symptoms become more severe, and over time it’s possible to develop serious conditions, such as:
- Complete blockage of the urethra
- Damage to your kidneys
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Bladder stones and bladder infections
These conditions can trigger additional symptoms, including:
- Pain in your back or lower abdomen
- Inability to urinate
- Pain, fever, and chills while urinating
- Blood in your urine.
If you notice any of these symptoms of advanced BPH, schedule an appointment to see a specialist at Urological Associates Medical Group immediately.
Are there treatments for an enlarged prostate?
We review your age, medical history and overall health, the size of your prostate, and the severity of your symptoms before creating a customized treatment plan designed to offer you the best help possible.
Treatment may begin with medication for mild or moderate symptoms of an enlarged prostate. If your BPH symptoms are more severe and affecting your quality of life, we may recommend a surgical intervention called the UroLift® System.
The UroLift System is a revolutionary treatment that addresses the primary issue associated with an enlarged prostate: the restriction BPH places on your urethra. The UroLift System solves this problem by holding back excess prostate tissue to keep the urethra open.
We perform this minimally invasive procedure using specially designed implants. We insert a small device through your urethra and then place implants in your prostate and lift the excess tissue away from the urethra.
The UroLift System doesn’t require any cutting or removal of prostate tissue, and it only requires a local anesthetic. This means you’re treated as an outpatient in about an hour or less.
The UroLift System offers several benefits compared to other BPH treatments, including less severe side effects than other surgical interventions for BPH and a faster recovery time than the surgical alternatives.
To learn more about BPH or to get help for the symptoms associated with your enlarged prostate, contact us at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, and set up a consultation today.