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Men's Health

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Enlarged Prostate and Prostate Surgery

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Points to Consider About Enlarged Prostate Treatments

Regarding Minimally Invasive Procedures:

  • Both the TUMT and TUNA procedures provide greater symptom relief than medication, but are less effective than surgery for an enlarged prostate. Both have some urinary side effects that can last for several weeks.
  • TUMT, TUNA, and ILC are equally effective in relieving BPH symptoms.
  • In two studies of men with the UroLift system, researchers found a 30% increase in urine flow and participants reported a decrease in symptoms and an increase in quality of life in the two years following treatment.
  • The decision to use minimally invasive therapies is based on the prostate's size, shape, and other factors.

Regarding Enlarged Prostate Surgery:

  • With TURP, men may develop retrograde ejaculation (ejaculation of semen into the bladder instead of through the urethra). Sexual dysfunction is among the complications reported in 5% of patients, although that may not be related to surgery in all cases.
  • With TUIP, there is significantly less risk of retrograde ejaculation, compared to TURP -- but TUIP produces symptom relief equal to TURP. However, some men require a repeat TUIP procedure. Doctors primarily base their decision whether to use TURP or TUIP on the prostate's size and shape.
  • Laser procedures provide improvements in symptom relief, urinary flow, and quality of life similar to TURP. However, some laser therapies produce fewer side effects than others. Long-term studies are needed to determine whether laser treatments are as effective as TURP.
  • Surgery can relieve many BPH symptoms, but it may not relieve all symptoms. If there are certain complications, such as a weak bladder, there may still be urinary problems after surgery -- although this is rare. With any BPH surgery, there may be a slight risk of erection problems. However, men who have normal erections before surgery will not likely have trouble achieving erections after surgery.

The best treatment for an enlarged prostate is not the same for every man. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of each procedure. The one you choose will depend on the severity of your symptoms, how much risk you are willing to take, and other medical conditions you may have. Your doctor can help you decide what is best for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Charles E. Jennings, MD on September 12, 2013
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