How serious is benign prostate enlargement?

Written by: Mr Werner Struss
Edited by: Conor Lynch

Top Doctors recently caught up with highly regarded consultant urologist, Mr Werner Struss, who, here in this article below, outlines the main symptoms and causes associated with benign prostate enlargement, before going on to tell us how the condition can be treated.

What are the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement?

Symptoms can vary between any of the below:


  • Storage symptoms: increased daytime frequency, nocturia, urgency or urgency incontinence.
  • Voiding symptoms: hesitancy, intermittency (stop-start), slow stream, splitting or spraying of the stream, straining, and terminal (post-void) dribble.


What causes benign prostate enlargement?

It isn't clear what causes the prostate to get bigger. It might be due to changes in the balance of sex hormones as you grow older. Risk factors that may increase the risk of BPH are age, family history, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and lifestyle.


How serious is benign prostate enlargement (BPH)?

BPH is not a serious condition. However, the above-mentioned symptoms may negatively impact on your quality of life. An issue that may cause long-term damage to your bladder and kidneys is if you retain higher volumes of residual urine in your bladder after urination. This may also be a source of recurrent urinary tract infection and contribute to the formation of kidney stones.


How is benign prostate enlargement treated?

BPH can be treated medically (i.e. with tablets) that help to improve the outflow of urine and/or help to shrink the prostate in size. Surgery, which is performed via the waterpipe (urethra) under a general or spinal anaesthetic, is another effective treatment option for those suitable for it. 


Can benign prostate enlargement be a sign of something more serious?

Yes, the symptoms of BPH can mask the presence of potential prostate cancer, and therefore it is very important to ask your GP or urologist to consider you for prostate cancer screening investigations if you are suitable.


Can diet help with the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement?

Healthy habits such as regular exercise, watching your waistline, eating vegetables and fruits, and keeping an eye on dietary fat may help with BPH. These habits will also lower your risk of erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease.


If you would like to schedule a consultation with Mr Werner Struss, you can visit his Top Doctors profile today.

By Mr Werner Struss

Mr Werner Struss is a consultant urological surgeon based in Winchester. He is highly experienced in several common and specialist urological conditions and treatment modalities. His areas of subspecialist expertise include prostate cancer screening and advanced diagnostics, minimally invasive focal prostate cancer therapy, peri-rectal spacing agents as well as bladder cancer, BPH, penoscrotal conditions and both male and female lower urinary tracts symptoms.
Mr Struss first qualified from University of Hamburg Medical School, before going on to achieve his MD from the University of Berlin in 2011. His specialist training was completed in Hamburg in 2014 and he was awarded a PhD from the University of Portsmouth in 2020 on translational medicine in common urologic cancers. Mr Struss has been appointed as an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton. He has several high-impact peer-reviewed publications and accolades for his research work to date and has completed book chapters on uro-oncological topics.

Mr Struss currently practices privately in several leading hospitals in Southampton and Winchester. He is also a urology consultant at the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has extensive experience working in Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition to his clinical work, he completed a research fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from 2016 to 2018.
Mr Struss is a fellow of both the European Board of Urology and the European Committee on Sexual Medicine. 

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