Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also commonly
known as prostate enlargement, is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate
gland. It is one of the most common urological problems in elderly male, with
40% incidence for those above 60 years old. The incidence increases with age.
The prostate gland increases in size with age. The exact cause for the growth of the prostate gland is not known, but it could be contributed by the changes in the balance of the sex hormones as men ages. If the growth is significant, it will obstruct the urine flow.
Some of the common symptoms of BPH include difficulty in starting urination, a weak urinary stream, interruption of the stream, sensation of incomplete bladder emptying, urgency and frequent urination.
At the advanced stage, patients may present with acute urinary retention, recurrent urinary tract infections, bladder stones, bladder diverticula and kidney damage.
The therapeutic options for BPH range from medical
management to invasive surgery. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
remains the gold standard in managing BPH but advances in technology have
increased the number of minimally invasive surgery options, of which UroLift
and Rezum are two new options currently performed by Assistant Professor Chua Wei Jin at NUH.
The UroLift system uses a revolutionary approach to treat BPH by lifting and holding the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way, so it no longer blocks the urethra. There is no heating, cutting or removal of prostate tissue.
UroLift can be performed as a day case with the procedure typically spanning less than 30 minutes. The procedure is free from possible serious adverse effects of traditional BPH surgery, such as stress urinary incontinence and transfusion, and provide a quick relief of BPH symptoms with shorter recovery time.
Rezum is similarly performed as a day case. Post procedure, patients need to be on a urinary catheter for 10 to 14 days. Most men experience symptom relief in 1 to 3 months and will be able to return to normal activities within 2 to 4 weeks after treatment.
Suitable patients for Urolift and Rezum:
With regard to choosing between the UroLift and Rezum, your doctor will help you to decide based on your prostate anatomy. The patient will have a choice on his preferred procedure if the anatomy is favourable for both procedures.
Today, patients need not suffer from bothersome BPH symptoms. It is not part of getting older. Such symptoms can be treated. The number of treatment choices are increasing each year. If patients are bothered by urinary symptoms, please see a doctor for a prostate check-up.