Most patients with urinary outflow obstruction begin treatment with medicines. Surgical procedures are usually a second option when the condition is far advanced, urgent, or has not responded well to medicine.
If the bladder is completely obstructed and you are unable to pass any urine at all, you must be treated immediately. A tube will be placed into the bladder to drain out the urine. The tube may be left in place until the passageway can be more permanently opened. The bladder can be drained with either of these procedures:
In non-emergency situations when medicine has not been effective, there are many new procedures available to open the channel through the prostate. These procedures are typically done on an outpatient basis. You will have some type of anesthesia, typically a combination of local anesthesia and oral sedation. The procedure may involve threading an instrument into your penis. Depending on the particular device, you will probably feel nothing more than that. Each procedure takes about an hour. There are significant differences between these minimally invasive treatments. Talk to your doctor before choosing this as a treatment option.
Examples of minimally invasive procedures include:
All of these interventions require some type of anesthesia, either regional or general. The procedure involves placing surgical tools through your urethra (the tube in your penis).
Examples of these more invasive procedures include:
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
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The most invasive surgery to treat BPH is prostatectomy. This involves the removal of the prostate gland.
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Bouza C, Lopez T, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of transurethral needle ablation in symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. BMC Urol. 2006;6:12-23.
BPH. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated August 27, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.
BPH. National Kidney Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/prostateenlargement/#treatment. Updated March 23, 2012. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Fried MM. New laser treatment approaches for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Curr Urol Rep. 2007;8:47-52.
Herrmann TR, Gross AJ, et al. Transurethral microwave thermotherapy for the treatment of BPH: still a challenger? World J Urol. 2006;24:389-396.
Medical Management of BPH. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/adult/index.cfm?cat=09&topic=101. Updated January 2011. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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