If your symptoms are mild and do not affect your quality of life to a great degree, your doctor may recommend a conservative “wait and watch” approach. Together you and your doctor will monitor your condition by tracking your symptoms.
Prescription and Non-Prescription
There are a number of prescription medications to manage BPH symptoms. These include alpha blockers, which relax the muscles around the neck of the bladder making it easier to urinate, and alpha reductase inhibitors which are used to shrink the prostate. While medications often offer some relief of symptoms, and reductase inhibitors have been shown to shrink the prostate over time, you must continue taking them over the long-term to maintain this relief. These medications have also been reported to cause side effects which include dizziness, headaches, and sexual dysfunction.1
Prostate Reshaping (The iTind procedure)
The iTind procedure is a new alternative to prescription medications and invasive surgical treatment that relieves lower urinary tract symptoms due to an enlarged prostate. The iTind device reshapes the prostate to allow for better urine flow and provides rapid symptomatic relief to patients.2,3
Unlike other non-surgical BPH procedures, the iTind procedure involves no heating or removal of prostate tissue, and no permanent implant is left behind.
Prostatic Urethral Lift (PUL)
This procedure utilizes metal permanent implants to lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way, so the prostate no longer blocks the urethra.1
Thermotherapies use radio frequency (RF), microwave or steam to heat the prostate tissue to shrink it. These treatments provide moderate symptom relief for some patients, are generally considered safe and can be performed under local anesthesia. However, applying heat to the prostate can cause the tissue to swell and therefore often require a few days or weeks of post-operative catheterization. For some patients this may result in a longer time to returning to normal life.1
Plasma Vaporization Therapy
An effective treatment for BPH is Plasma Vaporization Therapy. A device known as the PlasmaButton™ gently vaporizes the enlarged prostate tissue. Plasma Vaporization Therapy has shown a reduction in procedure time and catheterization time post-operatively while delivering long-lasting results and a quick return to normal activity. Learn more about Plasma Therapy.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
TURP is a surgical procedure where the prostate is cut out to gain space for normal urination and other BPH symptom relief. During the procedure, the prostate is reached by inserting a thin, tube-like instrument called a resectoscope through the urethra. A camera on the end of the resectoscope provides a magnified view of the prostate, and a loop at the tip of the resectoscope is passed along the prostate, removing the enlarged and obstructing tissue. TURP procedures are safe and have long-lasting results in treating BPH symptoms. TURP has traditionally been the “gold standard” in treatment for men with BPH.1
Known as either photoselective vaporization of the prostate (PVP) or holmium laser enucleation (HoLEP). Since prostate tissue is removed, there is sometimes swelling and discomfort during healing and this can lead to longer recovery before going back to everyday activities. Apart from bleeding, the risks and complications are similar to those seen with TURP and typically a catheter is required after the procedure.1
Transurethral Microwave Procedure (TUMT)
Your doctor inserts a special electrode through your urethra into your prostate area. Microwave energy from the electrode destroys the inner portion of the enlarged prostate gland, shrinking it and easing urine. Although microwave therapy does not cure BPH, it reduces urinary frequency, urgency, straining, and intermittent flow. It does not correct the problem of incomplete emptying of the bladder. The long-term effects of microwave therapy are still not clear.