Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) treatments

Surgical and non-surgical treatment options for BPH

The Prostate Centre

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What is BPH?

Nearly half of men over the age of 65 have symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It's characterised by the benign (non-cancerous) overgrowth of prostate cells, leading to the enlargement of the central portion of the prostate. This means the part of the urethra surrounded by the prostate can become constricted which, in turn, can result in reduced urinary flow.

Those affected find their urine stream becomes weaker, emptying the bladder becomes more difficult and they often need to pass urine more often including at night - symptoms that can significantly impair their quality of life.

What are the consequences of not treating BPH?

As the obstruction increases, the muscular bladder wall thickens and becomes stronger. This means the pressure inside the bladder needed to produce urinary flow has to increase to overcome the effect of the obstruction, which can cause pouches or ‘diverticula’ to form. Less commonly, the raised pressure results in what’s known as ‘back pressure’ on the kidneys, and can lead to kidney problems.

If BPH isn’t treated, either chronic urinary retention (characterised by a massively over-distended bladder) or acute urinary retention (the sudden inability to pass any urine, with painful overdistension of the bladder) may develop. In either situation, hospital admission, catheterisation and, often, prostate surgery are usually required.

Treatment options

BPH is most commonly treated with either drugs or surgery. Some men with mild symptoms opt for active surveillance, which involves monitoring their condition, so if it worsens, we can spot it quickly and treat it effectively. There are also several ‘minimally invasive’ alternatives.

We may recommend drug treatment without surgery if your symptoms are moderate, though it may also be beneficial even if your symptoms are severe.

Sometimes, however, certain complications, including kidney problems, urinary retention or bladder stones, make surgery a more appropriate option.

If you do require surgery, rest assured that our consultants specialise in a wide range of treatment options. The procedures we offer include: