Enlarged Prostate Therapies

Therapies include medication and surgery. Certain medications alleviate symptoms. Open prostatectomy removes all obstructive tissue of the prostate through an incision in the abdomen. Minimally invasive procedures to treat enlarged prostate include microwave therapy, laser ablation, and radiofrequency ablation of the prostatic enlargement.


Medication

Alpha-blockers
These drugs relax smooth muscles, especially in the bladder neck and prostate. They include terazosin (Hytrin), doxazosin (Cardura), tamsulosin (Flomax), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), and silodosin (Rapaflo). Alpha-blockers help relieve BPH symptoms, but they do not reduce the size of the prostate. The can help improve urine flow and reduce risk of bladder obstruction. They are often the first choice, especially for men with smaller prostates.

5-alpha-reductase inhibitors
Finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart) block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, the male hormone that stimulates the prostate. These drugs are better for men with significantly enlarged prostates. In addition to relieving symptoms, they increase urinary flow and may even help shrink the prostate. However, patients may have to take these drugs for up to 6 – 12 months to achieve full benefits.

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Open Prostatectomy
Open prostatectomy is surgery to remove an enlarged prostate that’s causing urinary symptoms. With open prostatectomy, your doctor will remove your entire prostate through a cut (incision) beneath your navel. For most men, open prostatectomy generally requires a hospital stay of a few days, and a few weeks of recovery.

Open prostatectomy works well at relieving urinary symptoms, but it has a higher risk of complications than do most other enlarged prostate procedures. Although it’s more involved than other treatments, open prostatectomy can be the best option for certain men. It’s generally reserved for men who have a very enlarged prostate.
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Microwave Therapy
Microwave Therapy solves the problem of an enlarged prostate without the need for drugs, needles, anesthesia or a hospital stay. The single non-surgical treatment can be performed in the comfort of your urologist’s office. More than 100,000 patients worldwide have been treated with the Microwave Therapy procedure.

The treatment uses a specially designed antenna inside a catheter that directs heat deep into the prostate to safely destroy enlarged tissue. At the same time cool water is circulated inside the catheter to protect the urethra from the heat generated by the microwave energy. The result of the treatment is shrinkage of the prostate to relieve pressure on the urethra to reduce your BPH symptoms.
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Laser Ablation
With this outpatient procedure, a lighted scope (cystoscope) is passed into your urethra. Your doctor uses the scope to place needles into your prostate gland. When the needles are in place, radio waves pass through them, heating and destroying excess prostate tissue that’s blocking urine flow. TUNA basically scars the prostate tissue, which causes it to shrink and open up, easing urine flow. This type of surgery may be a good choice if you bleed easily or you have certain other health problems. Unfortunately, this procedure may only partially relieve your symptoms and it may take some time before you notice results.
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Radiofrequency Ablation
Radio frequency therapy (RF therapy) uses low-level radio frequency energy to destroy excess prostate tissue, allowing you to urinate more normally. RF therapy is a safe, single-event treatment for BPH. This minimally-invasive BPH treatment can be performed in your doctor’s office. There’s no hospital stay, and no need for general anesthesia.
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