Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlarged prostate, is a widespread condition that causes frequent urination and urinary tract problems. About half of men aged 51-60, and 80% of men 70 and older, suffer from BPH.
Common myths about prostate enlargement cause many groundless fears, some of which may lead men to delay efficient treatment that can improve their quality of life. Let’s debunk five circulating misconceptions about prostate health.
Myth 1: More Severe Prostate Enlargement Means Worse BPH Symptoms
While an enlarged prostate causes BPH symptoms like urinary discomfort and frequent urination, there’s no direct correlation between prostate size and the problems it causes. In other words, two men with a prostate gland of the same size can experience variations in the severity of their symptoms.
Myth 2: There’s a Link Between BPH and Prostate Cancer
Despite the claims of some common myths about prostate enlargement, BPH is a noncancerous condition. There’s no connection between an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. The strongest predictors for prostate cancer are age (most diagnoses are in men aged 70 to 74) and family history.
Myth 3: You Can Delay BPH Treatment Indefinitely
Delaying BPH treatment will eventually cause urinary tract damage. As BPH progresses, the enlarged prostate gland will press against the urethra and interfere with urine flow. The bladder wall may become thicker, so at some point, the bladder may not be able to empty anymore.
Men with untreated BPH may eventually suffer from an overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. In severe cases, BPH can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and even acute renal failure.
Even though BPH rarely leads to medical emergencies, it will gradually erode your quality of life with constant visits to the bathroom and disrupted sleep. That’s why exploring your treatment options as early as possible is essential.
Myth 4: There Are Only Two Treatment Options for BPH: Medication and Surgery
Men who suffer from BPH often take 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like finasteride to reduce the size of their prostate gland or alpha-blockers like silodosin and alfuzosin to relax the bladder, neck and improve urine flow. However, some of these medications have potential side effects like erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorders, decreased libido, and low blood pressure.
Many men would like to get off their BPH medication but are concerned about the prospect of prostate surgery. Minimally invasive prostate treatments like Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) can be the optimal choice for many men with an enlarged prostate. PAE is quick, safe, highly effective and results in a dramatic and lasting improvement of BPH symptoms.
Myth 5: Minimally Invasive Treatments for Enlarged Prostate May Cause Incontinence and/or Impotence
Traditional surgery for enlarged prostate may, unfortunately, result in erectile dysfunction or stress incontinence — that is, urine leaks that accompany straining, coughing, or sneezing. These potential complications deter many men from pursuing prostate surgery.
But modern minimally invasive treatments like prostate artery embolization (PAE) involve no increased risk of incontinence or detrimental effects on sexual function. That’s why more and more men are choosing PAE as their first-line BPH treatment option.
Enlarged Prostate Treatment FAQ
How does Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) work?
In a PAE procedure, an interventional radiologist places a catheter into the patient’s groin or wrist through a tiny puncture. The radiologist then moves the catheter toward the small arteries responsible for supplying blood to the prostate. The radiologist uses the catheter to inject tiny particles that obstruct blood flow to the patient’s prostate.
As a result of this reduced blood flow, the prostate gland will shrink, and the patient will experience relief in BPH symptoms. PAE is a quick procedure that takes about one to two hours, and most patients get discharged on the same day.
Am I a good candidate for PAE?
PAE is a suitable treatment option for most men with BPH symptoms. You may be a candidate for the procedure if:
- You suffer from enlarged prostate symptoms
- You don’t react well to BPH medication
- You are concerned about the potential side effects of invasive surgical treatments for enlarged prostate
- You aren’t a candidate for traditional prostate surgery
What are the benefits of PAE?
PAE offers the advantages of:
- Excellent success rates. Nearly 98% of BPH patients will experience relief in their symptoms after PAE.
- High safety. PAE involves minimal risk of complications or adverse effects like sexual dysfunction or incontinence.
- Quick recovery. Most patients can resume their regular routines 72 hours after the procedure.
Prostate Specialists of Miami: Contact a Prostate Specialist Today
Do you suffer from BPH symptoms? At Prostate Specialists of Miami, we offer safe, minimally invasive treatment options like PAE (Prostate Artery Embolization) to resolve BPH and improve your quality of life. Don’t let common myths about prostate enlargement stop you – call (786) 500-5347 or fill out our online form today to schedule a consultation.
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