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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous condition in which the enlarged prostate squeezes or blocks the urethra and irritates the bladder. This can lead to annoying urinary symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty in starting and stopping urination
  • A weak stream
  • Dribbling or leaking
  • Constant feeling of needing to urinate
  • Feeling like the bladder is still full after urination

About 50 percent of all men between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treatments

At UC San Diego Health, we offer comprehensive care for this common noncancerous condition. Mild cases of BPH can often be treated successfully with medication under the care of your primary care physician.

We also offer surgical, nonsurgical and interventional radiology techniques, including the following:

Surgical BPH Treatment

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate TURP) is a surgery to remove the inner part of the prostate gland to ease pressure on the urethra. It's one of the most common procedures for treating BPH and easing symptoms. The surgery takes about one hour and can be done under general or spinal anesthesia. Find out more about TURP.

Minimally Invasive BPH Treatments

  • GreenLight PVP (photoselective vaporization of the prostate) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laser with high-powered energy beams to vaporize or melt away the prostate tissue that is blocking the outlet of the bladder. This outpatient laser therapy is performed under anesthesia (general or local) and takes about an hour. It offers quick recovery with minimal side effects. Find out more about laser therapy.
  • UroLift approach uses an implant that can help significantly reduce lower urinary tract symptoms while preserving sexual function. The implant comprises a series of tiny permanent sutures that lift the enlarged prostate open so that it does not interfere with the urethra or bladder anatomy. The eight-minute, minimally invasive procedure is done under light sedation and has a low risk of side effects. Find out more about UroLift.
  • Rezum water vapor therapy uses the power of steam to shrink the prostate. The 10-minute procedure is done under light sedation by injecting water vapor into the excess prostatic tissue pressing on the urethra, causing symptom relief in as soon as a few weeks. This minimally invasive procedure preserves sexual function and does not require general anesthesia. It’s a relatively new technique with minimal side effects.
  • Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is another minimally invasive procedure that's an alternative to surgery. The interventional radiology technique blocks blood flow to the prostate, thereby shrinking the gland and relieving urinary symptoms. This outpatient treatment is done under conscious sedation and has few side effects. Find out more about PAE.

Appointments and Referrals


La Jolla