Our world-class doctors use the most advanced techniques to effectively treat BPH. We offer the full range of treatment options and always recommend minimally invasive approaches whenever appropriate.
Our team includes highly trained specialists such as urologists, surgeons, interventional radiologists, and others.
Treatment for BPH focuses on shrinking the prostate to relieve symptoms such as incontinence and urinary urgency. The exact treatment for your condition depends on:
- Your age
- Your overall health
- The size of your prostate
- The severity of your symptoms
A full range of treatment options
Your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Medication: Options include drugs that shrink your prostate (such as alpha reductase inhibitors) and drugs that relax your prostate and bladder to make urinating easier (such as alpha blockers).
- Minimally invasive procedures: One advanced treatment approach is prostatic artery embolization (PAE), an outpatient procedure that offers an alternative to surgery. The Stanford Health Care PAE Program is one of the first in the US with the expertise and experienced needed to provide this innovative approach.
- Laser therapy: The goal is to remove part or all of the prostate to help increase the flow of urine.
- Surgery: If your condition requires surgical treatment, your doctor may recommend a procedure such as a prostatectomy (removal of part or all of the prostate) or transurethral resection of the prostate, also called TURP, which involves removing tissue through an instrument inserted into the penis.
Protection against side effects
Your doctor will do everything possible to prevent problems, but any prostate treatment can cause side effects. These may include:
- Temporary difficulty urinating
- Retrograde ejaculation, where semen flows through the bladder instead of the penis
- Urinary tract infection
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Loss of bladder control
The type of follow-up care recommended for you depends on your condition and the treatment you receive.
Your care team will monitor your progress after treatment. If you notice any problems or unexpected changes in your condition, notify your doctor immediately.
As part of your recovery from BPH treatment, your doctor may advise you to limit exercising and doing activities such as heavy lifting – for a few days or, in severe cases, weeks.
BPH is a common condition that occurs as men age.
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. The urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder out your penis, runs directly through it.
The prostate continues growing throughout a man’s life. About 50% of men age 50 have an enlarged prostate. With every decade that number increases about 10%, so BPH occurs in about 60% of men who are 60, 70% of men age 70, and so on.
Normally, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. With BPH, it can grow to twice that size or even larger. Eventually, it can block the flow or urine and cause symptoms such as incontinence or urinary urgency. An enlarged prostate is not typically life-threatening, but the symptoms can be very bothersome. In severe cases, BPH can lead to kidney failure.