What is BPH?
BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, occurs when the prostate becomes enlarged and triggers unpleasant urinary symptoms. The prostate continually grows as a man ages, and as it enlarges, it may press against and constrict the urethra, causing BPH. The condition is extraordinarily common; the American Urological Association estimates that BPH affects roughly 50 percent of all men between the ages of 51 and 60, and as many as 90 percent of men over age 80.
The prostate is a component of the male reproductive system that is located below the bladder. The urethra, or the thin tube that transports urine from the bladder to the penis, runs through the prostate. When the prostate becomes enlarged as a result of BPH, it may press against the urethra and disrupt urine flow. This can make it difficult to begin urination and to completely empty the bladder. Some men only experience mild symptoms that stabilize over time, while others may not be able to urinate at all.
Only a doctor can diagnose and treat BPH. If you are experiencing urinary symptoms, even if they are not particularly bothersome, it is important to promptly seek medical attention. If left untreated BPH and other urological conditions can worsen, completely blocking the flow of urine, or causing infections, bladder stones or kidney damage.
Tampa General Hospital offers a breakthrough outpatient treatment for men with BPH in the form of prostate artery embolization, or PAE. PAE has been shown to have less serious complications than traditional BPH surgery in select patients. PAE is better suited for men who have a significantly enlarged prostate or a prostate size that is considered higher risk for traditional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
If you have been diagnosed with BPH or have a significantly enlarged prostate and are experiencing moderate-to-severe symptoms, contact Tampa General Hospital’s PAE program coordinator at (813) 539-5995 or fill out our online form to begin the process of determining your candidacy for prostate artery embolization.