Surgery can help some men whose symptoms bother them a lot. But other treatments usually are tried first. Watchful waiting or taking medicines are two treatments to consider before surgery.
Home treatment won't stop your prostate from getting larger. But it can help your symptoms. Try these home treatment tips:
If home treatment doesn't help, you can take medicine for an enlarged prostate. Medicine can reduce the symptoms, but it rarely gets rid of them. If you stop taking medicine, symptoms return.
If your symptoms are very bad, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove part of your prostate. Few men have symptoms or other problems that are this bad.
The most common surgery is:
Other types of surgery include:
There are also some other surgeries. Talk to your doctor about these options.
The American Urological Association (AUA) symptom index helps you describe how bad your symptoms are. This index can also be used to measure how well various treatments might work for your symptoms. But the most important thing is how much the symptoms bother you.
Symptoms get better for 70 to 100 out of 100 men who have this surgery.1
Men who are very bothered by their symptoms are most likely to notice great improvement. Men who are not very bothered by their symptoms are less likely to notice a big change.
TURP has possible side effects, such as:
A few men will need a second operation several years later, because their symptoms return. This can happen for many reasons, such as if:
Your doctor may recommend surgery if:
|Have surgery for an enlarged prostate||Keep using medicines to treat your symptoms|
|What is usually involved?|
|What are the benefits?|
|What are the risks and side effects?|
Are you interested in what others decided to do? Many people have faced this decision. These personal stories may help you decide.
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
"Over the past year, I've started to feel like my life revolves around the bathroom. I have to go every 2 or 3 hours, and in my line of work, that's a real inconvenience. And then sometimes it takes me 5 or 10 minutes to finish. It's become a real annoyance to me. I tried medicines to relax and shrink my prostate. But I didn't like the side effects, and I don't want to be on medicine for the rest of my life. This surgery sounds like a good option for me. I think I can manage the possible side effects of the surgery a lot better than the symptoms I have now. It makes sense to me to take care of the problem and not just treat the symptoms."
— John, age 56
"I've adapted pretty well to the changes in my urination. Instead of standing there waiting for something to happen, I just have a seat, pick up a magazine, and let nature take its course. Some men might have a problem with that, but I'm retired and I don't find it a bother at all. I don't feel any need to have surgery, because I think I'm managing just fine. Who knows whether the risks of surgery might not be worse than what I'm dealing with now?"
— Geraldo, age 67
"I haven't had a good night's sleep since this whole prostate thing started. I'm up every few hours almost every night. I find that I'm tired a lot during the day because I'm really not sleeping very well. I tried medicines, but they didn't seem to help me. I always had to have an aisle seat on airplanes because I was urinating so often. Every surgery I've ever had before has turned out well, so I'm not especially concerned about this one. In fact, I'm looking forward to finally getting to sleep through the night."
— Tom, age 70
"I just remarried after being single for about 15 years, and my new wife and I have a wonderful sex life. No way would I have surgery, no matter how many times I have to get up each night to use the bathroom! I know the risk of erection problems is very small, but it's not a risk I want to take right now."
— Dave, age 65
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to have surgery for an enlarged prostate
Reasons not to have surgery
I don't want to keep taking medicine every day for my symptoms.
I don't mind taking daily medicine.
I'm willing to try surgery because my symptoms bother me so much.
I don't like the idea of having surgery.
I don't think medicines are helping my symptoms.
Medicines are helping my symptoms.
I don't think the side effects of surgery will be as bad as my symptoms.
I think the side effects of surgery would bother me more than my symptoms do.
My other important reasons:
My other important reasons:
Now that you've thought about the facts and your feelings, you may have a general idea of where you stand on this decision. Show which way you are leaning right now.
NOT having surgery
1. Is surgery the best treatment for all types of enlarged prostates?
2. Can surgery affect your ability to have children?
1. Do you understand the options available to you?
2. Are you clear about which benefits and side effects matter most to you?
3. Do you have enough support and advice from others to make a choice?
1. How sure do you feel right now about your decision?
2. Check what you need to do before you make this decision.
3. Use the following space to list questions, concerns, and next steps.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology|