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Prostate Enlargement/BPH Health Center

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If you have difficulty urinating because of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), you probably will not need surgery unless you:

  • Cannot urinate.
  • Have a partial blockage in your urethra that is causing repeated urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or bladder damage.
  • Have blood in your urine that is not getting better and is causing other problems such as clots that make it hard to urinate.
  • Have kidney damage.

If you have no complications but have symptoms that bother you or if other treatment has not worked, you may choose to have surgery. In this case, think about:

  • How bad your symptoms are.
  • How much you expect the surgery to improve your symptoms.
  • How you feel about the risk of developing a complication because of the surgery.

For more information on this decision, see:

dplink.gif Enlarged Prostate: Should I Have Surgery?

Surgery choices

Surgery that does not require an incision through the skin is usually used. The surgical instruments are passed up the urinary opening in the penis to the location of the prostate. This is described as a transurethral surgery of the prostate.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia that has been studied the most. It is the surgery that is used the most to treat symptoms of BPH. All other surgeries are compared to TURP. In TURP, part of the prostate is removed.

Some of the other surgeries that have been studied and compared to TURP include:

In most cases, these treatments have been studied for only a few years, so their long-term effectiveness is not yet known. There are also some other surgeries.

The oldest surgical method to treat BPH is an open prostatectomy, in which an incision is made through the skin to reach the prostate. Doctors use this method less often now, but it is still preferred if the prostate is very large.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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