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Division of Urology
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Medical Conditions: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum and surrounds part of the urethra. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate gland and is very common in men over the age of 50. It is not cancerous and is not a precursor to prostate cancer.

The prostate can grow in two ways. In one, the cells multiply around the urethra, squeezing it, and in the other, cells grow into the urethra and bladder outlet area. The second type usually requires surgery.

Symptoms of BPH include:

  • blood in the urine
  • dribbling after voiding
  • feeling the bladder has not fully emptied after urination
  • hesitant, interrupted or weak urine stream
  • pushing or straining to begin urination
  • recurrent sudden urge to urinate
The exact cause of BPH is not known, though it is related to aging and changing hormone levels. Treatments range from observation to medical treatment to surgery. There are three types of surgery, two of which involve endourological techniques to decrease the size of the prostate, used when the prostate has not become too enlarged. Open surgery is used when the prostate is very enlarged to remove prostate tissue.

Division of Urology American University of Beirut Medical Center Department of Surgery