Surgical Solutions for an Enlarged Prostate Gland
If an enlarged prostate gland is severe enough, a number of surgical procedures can be used to treat it. Some of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland that may indicate the need for surgery are:
1. The inability to urinate at all
2. The presence of blood in the urine
3. The presence of bladder stones
4. The presence of urinary tract conditions that are moderate to severe in nature and are not responsing to prescription drugs.
Invasive Surgical Approaches
Of all the surgical options available, the one that works the best is called transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP. Unfortunately, it is also the most invasive approach. There are more risks associated with this procedure than any other, including erectile dysfunction, blood loss, and incontinence. But, since it works better than other treatments that are not invasive, it is still the one prescribed most often by physicians. Ensure that the doctor selected to perform the procedure is very experienced.
TURP Procedure Basics
When TURP is performed, the inner part of the prostate is removed. The patient typically has to stay in the hospital for between 1 and 3 days. A fiberoptic endoscope is put into the urethra. The endoscope is used to remove the extra tissue from the prostate. The tissue that has been removed is then washed away with a water solution. Men usually do not require a repeat procedure for as many as 15 years following surgery; however BHP could come back for any number of reasons that will require another procedure. A number of complications can arise from this procedure including excessive blood loss, infection, incontinence, and impotency.
Less-Invasive Surgical Approaches
All of these approaches make use of heat in some way to burn away extra prostate tissue. There are several ways of generating and delivering the heat, which are described here:
Transurethral needle ablation or TUNA makes use of radio waves.
Transurethral microwave thermotherapy or TUMT makes use of microwaves.
Transurethral electrovaporization or TUVP makes use of electrical current.
Water-induced thermotherapy or WIT makes use of hot water.
Interstitial laser coagulation or ILC, holmium laser enucleation of the prostate or HoLEP, and photoselective vaporization or PVP make use of a laser.
Even though these less invasive approaches are certainly useful for certain patients based on their individual circumstances, they are not able to produce results anywhere close to TURP. In the 5 to 10 years after a minimally invasive procedure, more people will need a repeat procedure than those who choose the more invasive approach.
The patients who seem to do better with the minimally-invasive procedures are:
1. Men who are younger (because they are less at risk for incontinence and erectile dysfunction)
2. Older men who are suffering from a disability
3. Men who are dealing with chronic and severe medical problems like cirrhosis, diabetes, active alcoholism, lung disease, heart disease, or kidney disease
4. Men who are taking drugs designed to thin the blood.
There are other treatments available such as transurethral incision of the prostate or TUIP, open prostatectomy, and prostatic stents. It is up to you and your doctor to determine which procedure is best for your situation.