Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous condition in which the prostate gland (the walnut-sized gland that sits under the bladder) grows or becomes enlarged, is very common in middle-aged and older men. Also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, it can cause bothersome difficulties with urination and other urinary symptoms.
BPH occurs when noncancerous cells of the prostate divide to make more cells. While BPH is not associated with the development of cancer, the two often accompany each other. Distinguishing between them is important and is a key element in a diagnostic exam.
The Barbara and Maurice Deane Prostate Health and Research Center’s urologists and support staff are experts in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of BPH. For many patients with mild symptoms, watchful waiting with periodic checks is an appropriate treatment choice. For other patients with moderate to severe BPH symptoms such as urinary retention and renal damage, we offer a comprehensive array of state-of-the-art treatment options, including laser and microwave surgery for BPH performed on an outpatient basis.
Symptoms may begin in some men as early as 40 years of age. However, most men do not experience symptoms until their 50s and 60s.
The most common symptoms of BPH are:
- An urgency to urinate
- The need to urinate several times a night
- A slow urinary stream
- A sense the bladder is still full after urination
- Having to push to start urination
- Having to wait a long time to begin urination
These symptoms may be accompanied by blood in the urine also known as a hematuria. When symptoms become severe, men may experience urge incontinence (an inability to hold urination long enough to find a toilet). Some men may stop urinating entirely – a condition referred to as urinary retention. This condition may progress to kidney damage. Therefore, urinary retention must be considered an emergency situation and medical help should be sought immediately.
The symptoms of BPH occur because of the location of the prostate gland (a walnut-sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system) in front of the bladder. Urine must pass through the prostate on its way out of the body. When BPH occurs, it creates an obstruction to flow, which slows down the urine stream, makes the bladder work harder to empty, and causes it to empty incompletely. If left untreated, the bladder undergoes changes from constantly fighting the obstructed prostate. This can lead to worsening symptoms, urinary tract infections and even kidney problems.
We Can Help
Mount Sinai’s Department of Urology is ranked among the nation’s best in the 2014-2015 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. Please call us at 212-241-4812 to learn how our physicians can provide an in-depth evaluation to ensure optimal treatment for you or your loved one based on your medical profile and needs.