Other options

Other options

As with many health issues that impact a patient’s quality of life, there is a range of treatment options available. In addition to innovative treatments such as water vapour therapy and laser therapy, there are a number of methods for relieving the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Medication

Alpha blockers
Common resources show that this type of medication helps to relax the muscles in the bladder and prostate, allowing urine to flow more freely. Most men see improvements in a couple of days. However, some patients have reported side effects such as dizziness or a decrease in ejaculation.1

5-alpha reductase inhibitors
These drugs are designed to stop the growth of your prostate or even shrink its size by lowering the production of the DHT hormone. However, common side effects observed include lower sex drive and erectile dysfunction. After beginning treatment, symptom relief usually takes three to six months to be noticed.1

Tadalafil
It’s known as an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction but is also used to treat BPE symptoms.

Combination drug therapy
Doctors often recommend combination therapy when an alpha blocker or 5-alpha reductase inhibitor isn’t working on its own. Use of any complementary drug or herbal remedies should always be discussed first with your doctor. While some patients experience relief using these medications individually, a combined usage could lead to side effects such as a reduction in sex drive and erectile dysfunction.1

Others

Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP)
This procedure doesn’t require any incisions on the body. A laser is used to cut and remove the bulky prostate tissue that is blocking the flow of urine, allowing to restore its natural flow.

Prostatic urethral lift (PUL)
This procedure utilizes permanent implants to lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way, so it no longer blocks the urethra.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
This procedure involves use of a heated wire to cut tissue from the prostate and has been used for years to treat BPE.

Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP)
It’s a surgical procedure where one or two small cuts are made in the prostate gland, making it easier for urine to pass through the urethra.

Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)
During this procedure, a special electrode is inserted through the urethra into the prostate area. Microwave energy from the electrode destroys the inner portion of the enlarged prostate gland, shrinking it and easing urine flow.

Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA)
A scope is inserted into the urethra, allowing the physician to place needles into the prostate gland. Radio waves pass through the needles, heating and destroying the excess prostate tissue that's blocking urine flow.

Open prostatectomy
This procedure involves removal of the inner part of the prostate through incisions made in the abdomen.

References

  1. Roger K and Gilling P. Fast Facts: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, 7th edition. Health Press. 2011.

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