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Enlarged Prostate

Enlarged Prostate

Enlarged Prostate services offered in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, WA

Enlarged prostate glands are common in men over 40. By age 80, most men suffer from some prostate enlargement. At Bellingham Urology Group in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Washington, the board-certified urologists provide customized care for men with enlarged prostates. Most treatments are nonsurgical outpatient therapies that quickly solve your issue, and the practice is also a UroLift® procedure Center of Excellence. Call Bellingham Urology Group today or schedule a consultation online for expert treatment of your enlarged prostate.

What is an enlarged prostate?

The prostate is a golf ball-sized gland sitting just below your bladder. It makes seminal fluid that nourishes your sperm and carries them outside your body when you ejaculate.

An enlarged prostate occurs when the gland grows bigger than it should, sometimes reaching the size of an orange. This disorder, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy, isn’t cancerous.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

If you have an enlarged prostate, the additional tissue squeezes your urethra (the tube that transports urine from your bladder when you urinate). This can partially block your bladder, causing urinary symptoms such as:

  • Frequent urination (every hour or two)
  • Strong urinary urges
  • Difficulty completely emptying your bladder
  • Intermittent urine stream (stop-and-start)
  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Dribbling urine
  • Waking up to urinate more than twice at night

These symptoms indicate that an enlarged prostate is compressing your urethra and restricting urine flow. If the enlargement is severe, you may be unable to urinate, causing a medical emergency.

What causes an enlarged prostate?

The reason why some men develop an enlarged prostate is unclear, but research indicates that hormonal changes are likely to be a significant influence. Levels of the male sex hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) fall with age, and BPH is most likely to develop after age 50.

Other factors that increase your risk of an enlarged prostate include excess body weight, lack of exercise, and a family history of BPH. Many men with an enlarged prostate also experience erectile dysfunction.

How is an enlarged prostate treated?

Depending on your prostate’s size, Bellingham Urology Group offers several advanced in-office BPH treatments, including photovaporization (laser removal of excess tissue) and transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), which uses microwave energy to destroy excess prostate tissue.

Bellingham Urology Group also performs the innovative UroLift procedure, a minimally invasive technique that offers rapid symptom relief. The UroLift system lifts and holds enlarged prostate tissue, stopping it from blocking your urethra. The procedure doesn’t involve any heating, cutting, or tissue removal. 

Your urologist anesthetizes the area and places the UroLift Delivery Device into your urethra so they can access the enlarged prostate. Then they insert a small permanent implant to lift and hold the prostate tissue away from your urethra. Afterward, your urologist removes the delivery device, leaving your urethra open permanently. Patients usually return home the same day.

Call Bellingham Urology Group today to learn more about treatments for an enlarged prostate or book an appointment online.