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Treatment for an enlarged prostate can involve major surgery. Keith Painter, 56, an aerospace engineer from Gloucestershire, underwent a new, less invasive procedure, as he tells OONA MASHTA .
About eight years ago, I started needing the loo frequently at night. I put up with it at first, but it gradually got worse — at one point I needed to go five or six times a night.
GP - Alcohol - Caffeine - Bladder - Difference
My GP told me to avoid alcohol and caffeine as these irritate the bladder, but this didn’t make a great difference and my symptoms continued to worsen.
By last year, I was getting up for the loo in the night so often it left me feeling tired during the day.
GP - Prostate - Urologist - Weeks - Tests
My GP suspected I had an enlarged prostate so referred me to a urologist. A few weeks later, I underwent various tests, including one where a machine measures the speed of your urine flow.
Sure enough, all the tests confirmed I had an enlarged prostate. It was pressing on my urethra, blocking the flow of urine and preventing the bladder from emptying properly — which was why I needed the loo so often.
Drugs - Months - Night
I was prescribed two drugs to shrink it, but while these worked initially, after about 18 months they were no longer effective and I was back to getting up frequently at night.
When I saw the urologist again he told me I needed an operation called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), where part of the prostate is removed with a hot wire.
Risk - Damage - Alternative
It sounded invasive and there was a risk I’d be left impotent and incontinent due to nerve damage, but there seemed to be no alternative.
But then earlier this year, while I was waiting for an op appointment, my friend told me he had been treated with a far less invasive procedure called prostate artery embolisation...
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