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Enlarged Prostate Diagnosis

Jul 29, 2008
A condition that is common in older men, usually over the age of 40, is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate. It has been discovered that a fourth of all men will have some form of swollen prostate by the time they reach the age of 50. However, it is in a small number of cases that hyperplasia will be severe enough to require a surgical procedure or medicines. Either way, an enlarged prostate is very uncomfortable and painful so it is not a condition that should go undiagnosed.

A normal prostate is slightly larger than a peanut and weighs around 20 to 30 grams. A swollen prostate can weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 grams. It should also be stated that prostatic hyperplasia is not a sign of prostate cancer. When you go in to the doctor to determine if you have an enlarged prostate, before the doctor can diagnose you they will test you for numerous things to make sure that it is prostatic hyperplasia instead of cancer.

There are several symptoms that will help you determine if you should visit the doctor for a diagnosis. The first sign of an enlarged prostate is urine leakage as well as feeling overall uncomfortable. As the problem persists, you will have a frequent urge to urinate, which is shortly followed by not being able to urinate at all.

The most common way for the doctor to check for an enlarged prostate before conducting tests is through a rectal exam. While this can be very uncomfortable, it is the only way for the doctor to see if your prostate is swollen or enlarged. However, many times the doctor is not able to diagnose the condition with a simple rectal exam. Instead, an x-ray picture of the urinary tract and prostate, or ultrasound pictures is the best way for the specialist to diagnose you properly.

After the doctor has determined your condition, you will have several treatment options. In most cases the doctor will try medicines first. Finasteride is an approved drug that forces the prostate gland to shrink naturally. The doctor will also prescribe an Alpha-blocker that helps relieve the pressure of the enlarged prostate.

In the event that the medicines were not effective, there are two types of surgery procedures that can be done. The first surgery procedure is the transurethral resection of the prostate. This is when the specialist will scrape an amount of tissue from the core of the prostate to help relieve pressure. The second option that many men are requesting is the transurethral incision of the prostate. Instead of scraping away at the core, the specialist will make several cuts in the gland to help relieve pressure.

In some cases, the patient's condition is already so severe that the medical treatment would not be effective first. Instead, the person has to undergo immediate surgery in order to prevent the bladder from experiencing more damage. If you are experiencing some or just one of the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, then you should not wait to see if it will improve.
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