Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate is enlarged and causes symptoms, including frequent urination and an inability to fully empty the bladder, affects more than half of men between the ages of 51 and 60. That figure climbs to 70% for men 60 to 69 and 80% for those over age 70.
The cause of BPH is not fully known, but it is believed to be linked to the exposure of prostate cells to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone in aging men. Additional symptoms of BPH include difficulty starting urination, weak urinary stream, increased urinary urgency, and increased urination at night.
If lifestyle changes (reducing daily consumption of fluids, especially before bed, and other steps) and medication (including those that relax muscles in the bladder and urethra) do not help, surgery is an option.
Among several types of surgery, Yale Medicine offers a minimally invasive procedure called holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP), which uses a high-powered laser to remove excess prostate tissue.
“It’s a surgery where we peel out the inside of the prostate in order to unobstruct it,” explains Daniel Kellner, MD, a Yale Medicine urologist. “There’s minimal bleeding, minimal pain, and most the patients actually go home the same day.”
Dr. Kellner talks more about the HoLEP procedure in the video above.