What are my BPH treatment options?

If you’ve been diagnosed with BPH, the right choice of treatment generally depends on the severity of the symptoms as well as your medical history and personal preferences. While mild symptoms can often be relieved temporarily by lifestyle changes or medication, moderate or severe BPH requires surgical therapy to remove the enlarged prostate gland tissue.

Watchful waiting: The condition is carefully monitored and symptoms are tracked but without providing any treatment until necessary. In addition you can adjust your lifestyle by drinking less before going to bed and in general drinking less alcohol, coffee and tea.

Medication: Daily medication like different kinds of alpha blockers can improve urinary flow by relaxing muscles around the bladder neck. Drugs can therefore reduce bothersome symptoms but do not reduce prostate size. This means you might still need surgical treatment eventually for long-term symptomatic relief.

Catheter or intraprostatic stent: A thin device is implanted into the prostate gland which keeps prostatic tissue away and relieves the obstructed urinary channel. This is considered to be a temporary option for men who cannot undergo general anaesthesia.

Microwave or radiofrequency therapy: An “antenna” or a pair of tiny needles is inserted through the urethra into the prostate gland. The microwaves or radio waves create heat, which destroys prostate tissue, causing the prostate to shrink. This therapy is especially effective for smaller prostates. It may require retreatment after some time as the prostate gland continues to grow.

Open prostatectomy: A part of the prostate is removed via laparoscopy. Because this procedure requires a longer hospital stay, and TURP has similar or even better results, open prostatectomy is only done in special situations.

Laser treatment: A fine instrument is inserted into the urethra. Intensive laser light is then applied to burn or cut the prostate gland tissue. This treatment can be performed with different types of laser.

TransUrethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP): TURP is the most recommended minimally invasive surgical treatment for BPH. The part of the prostate gland obstructing the urinary flow is removed, using a special form of electric energy. This monopolar TURP procedure has become the gold standard because of excellent long-term results and has proven to be one of the most effective procedures, targeting the cause of BPH directly.

PLASMA or bipolar TURP: TURP has evolved over the past decade. PLASMA (or bipolar) technology is regarded as the more advanced and safer form, and is increasingly performed in preference to conventional monopolar TURP. Get in-depth information about the PLASMA treatment.