The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the urethra. As men age, their prostate gland continues to grow. Eventually, the prostate can restrict the flow of urine as it leaves the bladder, resulting in a weak, prolonged stream. Other symptoms can include urinating several times a night, feeling as though the bladder is not completely emptied, having to hurry to make it to the restroom and having to urinate more frequently.
Several treatment options are available. There are medicines that can either relax the muscle tone of the prostate gland, or actually decrease the size of the gland itself. Possible side effects are dizziness, lack of energy, and decreased ejaculate volume. If the medication is effective, the patient must continue the medication indefinitely, or the urinary symptoms will return.
The third treatment option, commonly referred to as transurethral resection of the prostate, is considered the Gold Standard of therapies. Under either a general or regional anesthetic, the obstructing prostatic tissue is surgically resected using a specialized cystoscope. The patient will usually spend 1 to 2 days in the hospital, depending on the amount of post-operative bleeding. Over the next several weeks, the urethral lining must heal, resulting in some persistent urgency, mild burning with urination, and occasional light bleeding. Post-operative exercise limitations are necessary for 4 to 6 weeks to prevent recurrent bleeding and clot retention.