What Is BPH?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that often occurs as men age.

Who Is at Risk?

Risk factors for developing BPH include increasing age and a family history of this condition. BPH is the most common non-cancerous disease of the prostate and will affect approximately 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80.

What Are the Symptoms?

BPH may be associated with bothersome symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency or nocturia that affect quality of life by interfering with normal daily activities and sleep patterns. Other symptoms may include decrease in size and strength of the urine stream, dribbling after urination ends, or sensation of incomplete bladder emptying.

How Is BPH Diagnosed?

A history of the voiding disorders described above suggests BPH. Diagnostic procedures usually include a digital rectal exam, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, ultrasonography or a urine flow study.

What Are the Treatments?

Treatments may range from "watchful waiting" or medical therapy to minimally invasive therapies or surgery. Medication taken orally provides relief of symptoms for a significant proportion of men with BPH.

Surgery may be recommended if the patient has refractory urinary retention (failing at least one attempt of catheter removal) or any of the following secondary conditions: recurrent urinary tract infection, recurrent gross hematuria, bladder stones, renal insufficiency, or large bladder diverticula.

The range of treatments is wide and includes both conventional (TURP) and newer procedures such as TUMT and TUNA.