Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia | Treatment

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How will my doctor treat my BPH?

Once your doctor is sure that your symptoms are caused by benign growth of the prostate gland, he or she can recommend treatment. However, your doctor may suggest that you wait to see if your symptoms get better. Sometimes mild symptoms get better on their own. If your symptoms get worse, your doctor may suggest another treatment option.

One option is a minimally invasive treatment. This means it does not involve surgery. Most of these treatments use heat to destroy prostate tissue that is pressing on the urethra. Minimally invasive treatments can usually be done by your doctor in his or her office rather than at a hospital.

Surgery is considered the most effective treatment and is used in men who have strong symptoms that persist after other treatments are tried. This is also the best way to diagnose and cure early cancer of the prostate. Surgery is usually done through the urethra, leaving no scars. Surgery does have risks, such as bleeding, infection or impotence. These risks are generally small.

Are there any drugs I can take?

Drug treatments are available. Finasteride and dutasteride block a natural hormone that makes the prostate enlarge, but it does not help all patients. The side effects of finasteride are rare and mild, but they usually have to do with sexual function. They go away when the medicine is stopped. The prostate may enlarge again when the medicine is stopped, so your doctor may suggest another treatment.

Another kind of medicine, called alpha-blockers, also can help the symptoms of BPH. Alpha-blockers have been used for a long time to treat high blood pressure, but they can also help the symptoms of BPH, even in men with normal blood pressure. Some of these drugs are terazosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin and alfuzosin. These medicines may not work in all men. The side effects of alpha-blockers include dizziness, fatigue and lightheadedness. The side effects go away if you stop taking the medicine.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00

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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Overview

Symptoms

Diagnosis & Tests

Treatment