How To Treat An Enlarged Prostate (BPH or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia)

March 21, 2023

Are you suffering from a weak urinary stream or feeling like you never really “emptied” your bladder? Do you wake up in the middle of the night having to pee? There’s a chance might be suffering from an enlarged prostate, also known as BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia). BPH is a common condition, impacting 50% of men ages 51-60, and 90% of men over the age of 80.

As you age, your prostate continues to grow which can restrict urine flow. This is because the prostate, typically the size of a walnut, pushes down on the urethra as it grows. This can result in lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) that can be disruptive to your daily life. Symptoms include frequent urination, a weak urine stream and if left untreated can lead to bladder failure and urinary retention. Patients may experience UTIs or need a catheter to empty their bladder if they don’t address their BPH.

It’s important that you don’t delay getting treatment for BPH; addressing it early and quickly leads to better outcomes. There are several different treatment options for BPH, ranging from medication to surgery. For many years the only treatment available was TURP (trans-urethral resection of the prostate) – sometimes referred to as a “roto-rooter” – but technology has advanced to include an array of better, more promising options. Procedures to treat BPH that are available at Austin Urology Institute include:

  • Urolift: A “urolift” can sometimes be performed in-office. It involves placing a small implant in the urethra that blocks out  tissue, opening up the flow of urine. It doesn’t involve any cutting or heating, and patients typically have a speedy recovery without the help of a catheter.
  • Aquablation: Aquablation uses a cool water jet to essentially wash away tissue overgrowth, similar to a power washer. The prostate is mapped out in realtime, while a water jet clears out the prostate to restore the flow of urine.
  • HoLEP: Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP) is a procedure that’s ideal for larger prostates. The procedure uses a holmium laser to reduce the size of the prostate. Austin Urology Institute is proud to be the first in Austin to perform HoLEP, conducting over 100+ procedures every year.
  • TURP: As mentioned earlier, this treatment has been around for ages but has improved with time. This surgical option involves using a camera to visualize the prostate, then utilizes plasma-vaporization or electro-currents to remove any excess tissue that may be blocking the urethra.

The right surgical option for you depends on the size of your prostate and your overall health. This is best determined by your urology team. When considering surgical options, we weigh the risks and benefits for each patient. Newer, less invasive surgeries like the Urolift and Aquablation are great options for preserving ejaculatory function and urinary continence. HoLep and TURP are a bit more invasive, but they are still very good options for patients and have proven to restore urine flow with minimal risks for incontinence.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact the team at Austin Urology Institute to learn more! We strive to be among Austin’s best urology clinics, and Dr. Shaw has been voted one of Austin’s best urologists for several years running.