Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

Middle-aged men usually don't have the name for it, but they know the drill. It's frequent urination (at least once or twice a night, interrupting sleep), a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder, a stream that starts and stops, difficulty starting urination, residual dribbling of urine and returning to urinate almost immediately after finishing.

Sound familiar? These symptoms describe the effects of an enlarged prostate, often called benign prostate hyperplasia, or BPH. It is, by far, the most common prostate issue for men over 50. It affects about half of men between age 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80.

Fortunately, it's not cancerous. 

But it can be both a disruption and aggravation in your daily life. Once you’ve been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, your Tallwood urologist will determine the best way to restore normal urination frequency and normal urine flow. 

How Is BPH/Enlarged Prostate Diagnosed?

A physical exam, blood and urine tests, your medical history and symptoms are all considered when diagnosing an enlarged prostate.

How to evaluate your urinary symptoms? The American Urological Association's BPH Symptom Score uses these seven questions: 

  1. How often have you had a sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you finished urinating?
  2. How often have you had to urinate again less than 2 hours after you finished urinating?
  3. How often have you stopped and started again several times when you urinated?
  4. How often have you found it difficult to urinate?
  5. How often have you had a weak urinary stream?
  6. How often have you had to push or strain to begin urination?
  7. How many times did you most typically get up to urinate from the time you went to bed at night until the time you got up in the morning?

The Conservative Approach

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor might choose a conservative treatment that includes lifestyle changes such as:

  • Reducing stress, which can trigger more frequent urination.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine, particularly after dinner.
  • Avoiding decongestants or antihistamines, which make it more difficult for the bladder to empty.
  • Urinating as soon as you feel the urge.

Medications such as alpha blockers that relax bladder and prostate muscles can help, though some patients report dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness and other side effects.

Surgery For Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

If your modern to severe BPH symptoms do not respond to medication, you doctor might recommend one of these procedures: 

Transurethral resection of the prostate: During a TURP procedure, a standard surgical treatment for BPH, your doctor removes the prostate with an instrument inserted through your urethra. 

Transurethral incision of the prostate: Unlike a TURP, your prostate is not removed during a TUIP. To restore free urine flow in milder cases of BPH, incisions in the prostate allow the gland to expand and increase the size of the bladder outlet and urethra. 

“Simple” prostatectomy: The inner part of the prostate, including the part of the gland blocking urine, is removed. 

Hartford HealthCare also offers this outpatient procedure:

Holmium laser ablation of the prostate: In a HOLAP procedure, your doctor uses a laser to open an obstructing prostate. The laser reduces both bleeding during the operation and any post-operative irritation symptoms.

What Is Urolift?

Traditional procedures that remedy urination problems sometimes cause undesired sexual-function side effects. A new technique called UroLift, however, has shown no such effects. 

So what's to like? UroLift is a minimally invasive procedure, often performed under local anesthetic, that typically does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. The prostate, a chestnut-size gland at the neck of the bladder, often swells as men age and, in extreme cases, exerts pressure on the urethra -- the tube that transports urine from the body.

The UroLift technology, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013, allows a surgeon to open the urethra with tiny implants that hold back the enlarged tissue, the manufacturer says, "like tiebacks on a window curtain." With no cutting or heating, it's the first BPH treatment that does not remove prostate tissue or affect sexual function.

Virtually all patients go home the same day, without a catheter, and many become symptom-free (as in a return to normal urination) in as little as two weeks. Some patients experience urinary discomfort during recovery, up to a month. 

Recovery for UroLift patients, in two- and four-year studies funded by the manufacturer, was faster than recovery from traditional transurethral resection (TURP) surgery that trims excess prostate tissue.

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Meet our BPH Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Allen, Richard Stephen, MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
  • Meriden
Show Less
Bieniek, Jared M., MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
Show Less
Ceplenski, Paul John, MD
860.826.4453
  • Urology
  • New Britain
Chang, Johnny, MD
860.496.8990
  • Urology
  • Torrington
Cooper, Raphael Mason, MD
860.826.4453
  • Urology
  • New Britain
Crawley, David F., MD
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
  • Norwich
Show Less
D'Amato, Abram Cooper, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Manchester
  • West Hartford
Show Less
Devanney, James Francis, MD
860.496.8990
  • Urology
  • Torrington
DiStefano, Anthony Joseph, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
Show Less
  • Manchester
Dorin, Ryan P., MD, FACS
860.223.0800
  • Urology
  • Urologic Oncology
Show Less
  • Plainville
  • Bristol
  • Meriden
  • Meriden
Show Less
Friedman, Franklin Paul, MD
860.886.1956
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Urology
Show Less
  • Norwich
Graydon, R. James, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Avon
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
Show Less
Griffith, John James, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Manchester
  • Hartford
Show Less
McLeod, Brian Scott, MD
860.564.9250
  • Urology
  • Plainfield
Morgenstern, Jeffrey H., MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Glastonbury
  • Avon
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
Show Less
Pyo, Paul, MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
  • Cheshire
Show Less
Quinn, Anthony Dennis, MD, FACS
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
  • Norwich
Show Less
Rosenberg, David Jeremy, MD
860.643.2731
  • Urology
  • Manchester
Schoenberger, Steven Harris, MD, FACS
860.443.0622
  • Urology
  • Waterford
Stahl, Brandon Christopher, MD
860.886.1956
  • Urologic Oncology
  • Urology
Show Less
  • Norwich
Stein, Joshua Aaron, MD
860.826.4453
  • Urology
  • New Britain
Tarantino, Arthur Edgar, MD
860.947.8500
  • Urology
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
Show Less
Telsey, Jonathan Ian, MD, FACS
860.886.1956
  • Urologic Surgery
  • Urology
Show Less
  • Norwich
  • Waterford
Show Less
Wong, Jean F., MD
203.238.1241
  • Urology
  • Meriden
  • Meriden
Show Less