The difficulty starting urination, combined with the frequency and urgency, can completely disrupt your life.
But doctors have come up with a new treatment that could be a cure for the more than 40 million men who currently suffer.
UroLift is a non-invasive surgical procedure meant to lift or hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra.
Stephen Goldman, 69, told Fox News that he had been living with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), for more than 30 years.
‘I’m driving the car and I have to go the bathroom,’ Goldman said.
‘After a while, you get used to it. It’s like anything else. It’s the norm so I figured if I have to go every half hour, every hour, that’s the way.’
Up until recently, the most widely-used treatments included medication or invasive surgery. Patients are often left with side effects such as compromised sexual function.
But now, men are being offered a non-surgical, minimally invasive option called ‘Urolift,’ which boasts a 90 percent success rate and can be conducted without general anesthesia.
A device is inserted through the obstructed urethra to access the enlarged prostate.
Then, a urologist places tiny implants to hold the prostate lobes apart, relieving compression on the urethra.
This allows urine to flow normally again. Typically, patients return home the same day without a catheter.
Patients may experience pelvic discomfort and blood in the urine for a few days post-procedure, but can return to regular activities within 48 hours. Goldman says that the procedure was life-changing for him.
‘I’m not afraid to drink water, I’m not afraid to have a cup of coffee,’ he said.
‘I don’t have to run to the bathroom every 20 minutes to an hour, I can hold it three hours, four hours. If I had to hold it six hours I could.’
Dr Riccardo Ricciardi Jr, a urologist at Advanced Urology of New York, told Fox News that the chances of a patient developing BPH depended on several factors included genetics and aging – almost 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 have the condition.
‘The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra,’ he said.
‘And as men get older, the gland gets enlarged, and it squeezes on that tube so it restricts the flow of urine out of the bladder.’
Almost two years ago, an alternative method for reducing BPH symptoms was developed called prostate artery embolization, which doesn’t involve surgery.
A tube is fed from the groin to the arteries that supply blood to the prostate, and small plastic beads are deposited. These cut off the blood to the prostate and shrink the gland.
Patients have claimed that as a result, their prostates have nearly halved in size.