The prostate is a gland that is located at the base of the penis. It is responsible for making the liquid part of semen. It is common for men to find that their prostate gradually gets bigger as they get older. Over time, this can lead to a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, which describes a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. This condition can lead to men needing to urinate more frequently and urgently, as well as having a weak or diminished stream of urine. Benign prostatic hyperplasia can be treated using a number of approaches.
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Take a prescription prostate-shrinking medication. Finasteride and dutasteride work to reduce the production of DHT, a hormone that can cause the prostate to enlarge. Terazosin, doxazosin, alfuzosin and tamsulosin all work to relax the smooth muscle around the prostate. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, patients who take finasteride and doxazosin often have a greater reduction in prostate size than patients who take either drug alone.
Receive minimally invasive treatment. Minimally invasive treatments to shrink the prostate are treatments that are not pharmaceutical but also don't involve surgery. For example, your physician may use a transurethral microwave procedure in which microwaves are sent through a catheter that is inserted into your prostate. The microwaves heat up portions of your prostate and burn them away, shrinking the gland. Other options that work in a similar fashion are transurethral needle ablation (in which a small needle that emits radio frequency waves is placed in the prostate) and water-induced thermotherapy (which uses hot water to burn away portions of the prostate).
Undergo surgery. There are three main surgical techniques that can be used to remove some of the prostate. With transurethral surgery, no external incision is needed. Instead, a surgeon inserts a device called a resectoscope through the urethra. The resectoscope uses electricity to cut away parts of the prostate. If transurethral surgery cannot be done, then open surgery (in which an incision is made in the skin and a surgeon removes some of the enlarged tissue) is an option. Finally, laser surgery can be used to shrink the prostate. With laser surgery, a small laser fiber is passed through the urethra. The fiber then uses several short bursts of laser light to vaporize portions of the prostate.