Men’s Health: How to Stay on Top of Your Prostate Health

Author: Lindsey Ulrich

"Not treating enlarged prostate can lead to bladder deterioration, and that's why it's important to monitor for any symptom changes."


There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treatment when you have an enlarged prostate. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition for men as they age. When the prostate is enlarged, it can irritate or block the bladder, leading to symptoms over time that can be bothersome to some.

“Common symptoms men face with an enlarged prostate include trouble emptying their bladder, an urgent need to go, trouble starting to urinate, or having the sensation of a full bladder even after going to the bathroom,” said Dr. Rafid Yousif, MD, urologist at Lansing Institute of Urology. “Not treating enlarged prostate can lead to bladder deterioration, and that’s why it’s important to monitor any symptom changes.”

Different treatments are appropriate for different patients. As symptoms worsen, medications can be prescribed to provide relief.

“Alpha blocking medications can be used to help relax the muscles of the prostate and bladder to reduce symptoms,” said Dr. Yousif. “They do not shrink the prostate, but can improve urine flow if there is a blockage.”

Phytotherapies or possible medication combinations can be used based on the patient’s symptoms and overall health. Medications can stop working overtime and if symptoms worsen, other interventions such as surgery may be needed. One of the more innovative surgical procedures, called the UroLift® system,  can be done at McLaren Greater Lansing. 

“The UroLift® uses tiny implants to lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way to open the urethra,” said Dr. Yousif. “This is a minimally invasive procedure where no cutting, heating, or removal of the tissue is involved, and it can be done in the office or at the hospital.”

Other treatments, such as a TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), can benefit those suffering from moderate to severe symptoms, and it involves cutting away a section of the prostate.

Other tips Dr. Yousif suggests to help alleviate symptoms include reducing intake of alcohol, coffee, soda, and teas, which can have dehydrating effects on the body, as well as limiting intake of water or fluids before bedtime.

Talk to your doctor if you are having symptoms that may be associated with BPH, or if you have a family history of an enlarged prostate. Often, the first step is to do a BPH Symptom Score Index that can help diagnose whether your symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe, which will help in determining the best treatment options for you. A PSA blood test will also be done to monitor your prostate and symptoms changes for detection of prostate cancer.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yousif, click here.

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