Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Benign Enlargement of Prostate)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that occurs when a man’s prostate gland starts to enlarge, usually after he reaches 40 years of age.

As the prostate grows, it can cause pressure on the neighboring urethra. This can cause urination issues for men with prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement is one of the most common health problems in men older than 60 years of age.


  • Weak urination stream
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urine dribble, especially after urinating
  • Feeling of not emptying the bladder fully
  • Leaking urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in the urine


Your doctor will perform a detailed history and physical exam.

Other tests include:
Digital rectal exam: doctor inserts gloved finger into the rectum to estimate the size and condition of the prostate
Urinalysis: office test used for finding blood in the urine

If diagnosed with prostate enlargement, treatment depends on intensity of symptoms. If the symptoms are mild, your doctor may not recommend immediate treatment. In this case, an annual exam will be likely to insure that you complications are not developing and symptoms are not aggravated.
Severe symptoms of enlarged prostate may require both medical and surgical treatments, which are readily available. The most common prostate enlargement operation is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The TURP procedure allows the doctor to reduce pressure on the urethra and generally relieves symptoms.

Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) is also available, but is a more limited operation. In the TUIP procedure the doctor makes one or two small cuts in the prostate, which reduce the pressure on the urethra, allowing for easier urination.

Newer treatments include transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), transurethral ablation of the prostate (TUNA), and interstitial laser coagulation (ILC). These procedures are all somewhat similar. For each one, the prostate tissue is heated by a laser, resulting in the death of some prostate tissue, thus removing some of the obstruction.

Photovaporization of the prostate (PVP) is a popular treatment that removes prostate tissue similar to the TURP procedure. This treatment is beneficial because it provides immediate symptom improvement or relief.

The outcome of prostate enlargement varies—some conditions improve, some remain the same, or some become worse. Prostate enlargement causes urinary problems that affect 1 in 10 older men. Prostate enlargement is not cancer and it does not increase your chances of developing cancer.