Prostate gland is a walnut shaped gland in the path of the urine passage of males. The function of this gland is to contribute 20 % of seminal fluid.
The prostate starts enlarging as the person gets older than 50 years of age. It is an age related phenomenon which happens with every individual. As wrinkles appear, hair gets gray with ageing, so does enlargement of prostate. Enlargement can be benign or malignant. Malignant enlargement means there is prostate cancer.
Depending on whether the prostate grows into the urinary passage of away from it, it may or may not cause urine symptoms. If the prostate grows into the urine passage, it leads to poor stream of urine, straining while passing urine, intermittent passage of urine, urine dribbling and increased frequency of passage of urine. One may have a sudden uncontrollable urge to pass urine and sometimes urine may leak in the undergarments as well. Even after passage of urine, one may have a sense of incomplete evacuation.
If one is suffering from these symptoms it is prudent to visit urologist. He would do a digital rectal examination to feel the prostate and assess the grade of enlargement and risk of prostate cancer. Evaluation also includes checking the flow of urine. Normal urine flow should be more than 15ml/sec. You may be subjected to ultrasound examination to see the condition of urinary bladder, presence of any stones. A blood test to determine level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) should be done.
If the enlargement of prostate is benign, it can be treated with medications in most instances. The medications have to be taken for life. If the patient continues to have bothersome symptoms, he will require removal of prostate through an endoscopic surgery. The operation is undertaken by introducing a metal scope into urinary passage through tip of the penis and prostate is removed. Surgery does not involve any cut or stitches. If the enlargement of prostate is due to cancer,then a surgery called radical prostatectomy will have to be undertaken. This surgery is more radical and more morbid.
When surgery is done for a benign enlarged prostate, one will have to remain admitted in a hospital for 48 hours. During surgery, a urine pipe (catheter) will be placed into the urinary bladder from the tip of penis. The catheter is removed after 48 hours. For the first 15 days following surgery, one may feel burning while passing urine. On and off mild amount of blood may also come out with urine. If may be difficult to control urine. One the pressure of urine builds up some drops of urine may leak out before you reach the urinals. All these problems are transient and they improve in 2 weeks time.
There no need of bed rest following this operation as there are no cuts/ stitches involved. One has to avoid lifting heavy weights, undertaking a prolonged bouncy journey, abdominal straining. One should take stool softeners so that there is no constipation.