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Notable Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The unpleasant symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, occur in approximately half of all men in their 50s and in 90 percent of men over the age of 80. BPH is an age-related medical condition characterized by an enlargement of the prostate – an organ found only in males that is located directly beneath the bladder. What causes the prostate to become enlarged isn’t particularly well understood. A leading theory suggests that it is related to a drop in testosterone production in older men, while another theory links BPH to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor diet and lack of exercise.

The problem with a prostate that grows too big is that it squeezes the urethra and causes the bladder to weaken. As a result, a man with BPH can find it hard to urinate normally. Although BPH does require an official diagnosis from a qualified urologist, it is possible for a man on his own to identify the following telltale symptoms:

  • Trouble starting to urinate
  • Straining during urination
  • Weak urine stream
  • Frequently starting and stopping when urinating
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Suddenly feeling a strong need to urinate
  • Having to urinate throughout the day
  • Waking up often during the night to urinate
  • Feeling the bladder is not fully empty after urinating

Treatment for BPH can be administered either medicinally or through surgery. Alpha-blocker medications such as doxazosin (Cardura), terazosin (Hytrin, Zayasel), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), tamsulosin (Flomax), and silodosin (Rapaflo) are all FDA-approved medications for BPH. Surgically, transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, is regarded as a leading traditional prostate surgery. However, not all patients with BPH are good candidates for TURP due to the size of the prostate or risk of bleeding.  A newer procedure called prostate artery embolization, or PAE, has been shown to eliminate BPH systems and can be performed in patients with massive prostates or with high surgical risks.

Tampa General Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the country to offer PAE. PAE is minimally invasive, is performed through a small incision in the wrist, requires no overnight hospital stay, and significantly reduces the risk of side effects often associated with traditional prostate surgery, such as impotence and recurring urinary tract infections. PAE is ideal for men who have a significantly enlarged prostate or a prostate size that is considered higher risk for traditional TURP.

If you are experiencing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, contact our PAE program coordinator at (813) 844-5072 or fill out our online form to begin the process of determining your candidacy for PAE.