What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

Commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia typically affects older men. Men go through two growth phases in a lifetime. One phase happens at the onset of puberty; the other phase happens after 25 years of age. The latter phase continues throughout a man’s life. Men who develop an enlarged prostate typically do so late in the second growth phase.

When the prostate gland enlarges, it makes the bladder wall thicker since the gland is squeezing down on the urethra. Over time, this causes the bladder to become weaker and unable to completely empty. The inability to completely empty the bladder causes many of the problems that are commonly associated with BPH.

The prostate itself is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system. While the prostate may be exclusively responsible for producing the fluid that mixes with sperm, it is positioned entirely around the urethra. When it becomes enlarged, it directly impacts the urethra and its ability to release urine. BPH is treatable and is very common. Half of men between the ages of 50 and 60 experience symptoms associated with having an enlarged prostate. Ninety percent of men over the age of 80 also experience many of the common negative side effects commonly associated with BPH.

Many hospitals, doctors, urologists and surgical centers are treating symptoms of BPH with laser therapy. The newest advancements in laser therapy require only the use of local anesthetic and can offer patients an outpatient surgical experience. These surgical lasers are minimally invasive, and the recovery period is significantly lessened than with other types of BPH treatment options. Not only is laser therapy less invasive, it is also far more affordable than more invasive treatment options. Many laser treatment therapies for BPH are also portable from room to room or office to office. Since the patient can be treated during a routine appointment, many insurance companies will cover the cost of the procedure for just the upfront copay cost. Laser therapy is truly the future for treating BPH.