The option for an enlarged prostate surgery is reserved for people whose condition does not respond to medicines. And there are various surgical procedures depending upon the state of the condition.
The clinical name for the problem of enlarged prostate is ‘Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)’; which implies that the enlargement is not due to any kind of cancer. The condition is reputed to be one of the most common prostate disorders in men, and almost all men contract it as they age. Having said that, reports say, men over 60 years of age tend to be the most vulnerable group to develop this problem. As you must be knowing, the prostate gland is one of the most important parts of a man’s reproductive system. Its main function is to produce a white milky fluid which is mixed into sperms, which is produced by testicles.
Together, they create what is known as semen. The purpose of the milky fluid that is produced by the prostate gland is to protect the sperm from the acidic environment in the vaginal tract. This in turn, increases the life span of the sperm, thus creating more chances of pregnancy. Besides this, the same fluid also increases sperm motility. One reason why urination does not occur during sexual intercourse is related to the prostate gland. It closes the urethra during the act thus, prevent urine from leaking out during ejaculation. Medical experts are not certain about enlarged prostate causes, but they suspect that increase in the hormone known as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), triggers the growth of the gland. While some doctors assume, changes in the hormones called testosterone and estrogen, may be a contributing factor.
Surgery Options for Treating Enlarged Prostate
As I have cited above, when conventional treatment does not yield the desired results, then surgery may be a necessity. A surgery may also be required if the symptoms have become too severe. For your information, some common symptoms causes by BPH may include a frequent urge to urinate, difficulty in starting or stopping urination, feeling of incomplete voiding even after urinating, and straining during the act. Blood may be present in the urine, and stones may develop in the bladder, and urinary tract infection could also be a symptom. What procedures are taken up in the surgery have been briefly discussed as follows:
- One common procedure that is included in an enlarge prostate surgery is known as the Trans-Urethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP). When the gland gets enlarged, it presses against the urinary bladder, and this is what causes the bothersome urinary symptoms as described above. So what TURP aims to do is, to help in getting rid of the excess growth of the prostate tissue that is pressing against the bladder thus, relieving the pressure, and the symptoms. This surgical procedure is painless as the patient would be under general anesthesia. In some cases, only the lower half of the patient’s body is anesthetized. In most cases, men are able to experience complete recovery after a few days.
- Another surgery option for enlarged prostate is Transurethral Incision of the Prostate (TUIP or TIP). This option is considered as being safer than the above one, as it involves less blood loss. So people who are not considered as suitable candidates for TURP, or those who are diagnosed with a moderately enlarged prostate gland, are treated with TIP. Unlike TURP, this one involves not getting rid of the excess tissue, but making one or two small incisions in the prostate gland. This is to open up a channel in the urethera thus, making it easier for the person to pass urine normally.
- Open prostatectomy is what we would discuss here. In some people, the gland gets enlarged to such an extent that, the case cannot be treated with TURP or TIP. So in such cases, the surgeon makes an incision in the lower abdominal area to gain access to the diseased prostate gland thus, the procedure is known as open prostatectomy. After making the incision, the outer portion of the gland is removed. This procedure carries a high risk of complications, and that is why, it is meant only for men with severely enlarged prostate gland.
- Laser surgery for treating an enlarged prostate gland is relatively less invasive than the procedures described above. That is why, it fits the bill for people who are too weak to undergo surgeries which risk heavy blood loss, and for those with moderate cases of enlarged prostate. As the name suggests, the procedure makes use of high-energy lasers to get rid of the tissue that has overgrown its normal size.
- There is one procedure known as Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT) which, although, does not get rid of the enlarged prostate, but shrinks it by destroying its inner portion, thus relieving urine flow. Here, microwave energy is employed to do the job. It is usually performed using general anesthesia, and can be completed in a single session.
- Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA) is a procedure that uses radio waves delivered to the prostate tissue with the help of some needles inserted in the gland. These waves heat and scar the prostate tissue thus, shrinking it and easing urine flow. It does not require hospital stay, and can be done under local anesthesia. This option is fit for people who are susceptible to easy bleeding, or those who are suffering from some other health conditions.
Doctors are not sure what causes benign prostatic hyperplasia. But they believe that it might be a result of some hormonal changes in men as they grow older. BPH might cause complications like urinary retention, urinary tract infection, and kidney damage to name a few.