It is very common for men over the age of 50 to develop issues with their prostate. This doesn't mean that they will all encounter any symptoms, but for those who do, their quality of life can certainly be affected. What are the typical symptoms and what can be done to alleviate them?
The most common problem associated with an enlarged prostate is the perception that the individual needs to urinate, even when they don't have to. They may feel as if their bladder is still full after they finish urinating and will experience a weak flow in any case. The patient may also find it hard to begin the process and may need to strain to be productive. They may also have to get up a couple of times each night, simply to go to the toilet.
This can be disconcerting to put it mildly, but it is also important to take action. If left untreated, this condition (known as benign prostatitic hyperplasia) can lead to urinary tract infections, kidney stones or further damage.
In this situation, there are several surgical options. The traditional and well-known process is known as TURP, where a surgeon sends a scope into the urethra to cut out and remove pieces of prostate tissue. The latest version of this process uses a small device in the shape of a button instead, which will vaporise the prostate tissue. It uses plasma energy instead of heat and there are fewer complications post-surgery.
Green Light Laser
The better option, however, will probably be green light laser prostate surgery. In this case, a tiny fibre-optic wire is inserted into the urethra while the patient is anaesthetised and pulses of light are used to cut away the prostate tissue. It's a relatively short procedure and the patient may even be allowed to go home on the same day. Typically, they will be able to return to work soon and can resume strenuous activity within a couple of weeks. In most cases this procedure will not interfere with the patient's sexual function in the future.
It's important to talk with a urologist at your local health centre to get professional advice, tailored to your individual case. You will be able to determine the course of action so that you can spend your night asleep, rather than having to jump out of bed every few hours.