Finding relief for enlarged prostate, the symptoms and steps

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For Tom Corbett, the symptoms came on suddenly and were quite bothersome.

He frequently experienced an overwhelming urge to empty his bladder, and would urinate an average of 12 times a day.

“When I traveled, I had to plan out where and when I could stop to pee,” says the 66-year-old retired systems engineer. “I would get up three or four times in the middle of the night to relieve myself. It got to the point that I avoided drinking for fear of constant urinating. As a result, I would get dehydrated.”

For Tom Corbett, the symptoms came on suddenly and were quite bothersome.

He frequently experienced an overwhelming urge to empty his bladder, and would urinate an average of 12 times a day.

“When I traveled, I had to plan out where and when I could stop to pee,” says the 66-year-old retired systems engineer. “I would get up three or four times in the middle of the night to relieve myself. It got to the point that I avoided drinking for fear of constant urinating. As a result, I would get dehydrated.”

The Virginia-born, University Heights resident consulted his doctor, who referred him to Dr. Youssef Tanagho, a urologist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

After ruling out prostate cancer,

Tanagho diagnosed Corbett with benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the most common prostate problem in men.

Common symptoms of a common condition

Corbett is not alone. Roughly half of men in their 60s — and as many as 90 percent of men in their 70s and 80s — have symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

One of the most common symptoms of BPH is the need to urinate more frequently, as the bladder has to work harder to overcome the obstructive effect of the prostate on the urethra.

The bladder becomes more and more irritable over time and eventually may start to contract even when only a small amount of urine is present.

Besides frequent urination, Corbett felt that he couldn’t completely empty his bladder — another common symptom of BPH.

Tanagho prescribed an alpha-blocker, which relaxes the muscles in the prostate and the bladder neck to relieve symptoms.

Corbett took medication for about eight weeks, and while it partially relieved him of the symptoms, he was concerned about the side effects, which include dizziness, headaches and sexual dysfunction.

New procedure reduces symptoms of enlarged prostate

Tanagho also suggested a new procedure called UroLift.

By pulling back prostate tissue pressing on the urethra with tiny, permanent implants, UroLift offers an effective solution that avoids the side effects of other treatment options and preserves sexual function.

The procedure is done in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia, or in the hospital under general anesthesia.

Tanagho is the only doctor in East San Diego County certified to perform this minimally invasive solution for BPH.

Tanagho recently received a national designation as a “center of excellence,” in recognition of his high level of training and experience, and exceptional patient outcomes.

Within a few days of the procedure, Corbett’s symptoms were gone, with no side effects from the procedure. “The recovery was remarkable, and the improvement in my quality of life was immediate,” he says.

“For men who want to avoid surgery or a lifetime of medications, UroLift is an important breakthrough,” explains Tanagho.

Tanagho said he encourages men to discuss any symptoms with their doctor.

“Men often blame urinary problems on aging and don’t seek help, while others consider treatment but reject it out of concern over side effects, such as sexual dysfunction or incontinence.

“I’m excited to offer this successful solution to my patients,” he says.

Now able to travel without fear of an accident or other symptoms, Corbett recently took a trip to Tennessee to visit friends and family — a trip that would have been previously problematic.

“Being able to once again make plans and do things without any apprehension or concern is a wonderful gift,” he says.

This article features experts from Sharp Grossmont Hospital. For more health stories visit www.sharp.com/news.

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