Q:

How do you know if you need to shrink your prostate?

A:

Quick Answer

The decision to treat an enlarged prostate depends on the severity of symptoms and how they affect the patient's quality of life, explains WebMD. An enlarged prostate can cause other serious medical problems, such as bladder stones, inability to urinate, bloody urine or kidney failure. If there are no complications and the patient does not feel tremendously inconvenienced by the symptoms of the prostate enlargement, he may opt for regular monitoring of the prostate rather than active treatment.

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In the absence of serious complications, a patient can manage his symptoms with lifestyle changes that focus on prevention of urinary symptoms, says WebMD. These include avoiding caffeine and alcohol, limiting liquid intake later in the evening, allowing extra time to urinate, and using relaxation techniques to assist urination.

There are a variety of medications and surgical options for active treatment of an enlarged prostate, according to Healthline. Possible medications include alpha blockers that relax the muscles of the bladder and prostate to assist urination, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that stop the growth of the prostate, or a combination of both. Minimally invasive procedures include thermotherapy with microwaves or hot water, and transurethral needle ablation with radio waves. Finally, there are surgical options that actually remove prostate tissue, some of which do not require open surgery.

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