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American Urological Association updates guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of enlarged prostate

(RxWiki News) The American Urological Association has updated its guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate.

As a man grows older, his prostate can become larger and begin to cause health problems, including irritation or blockage of the bladder; the need to urinate frequently (as much as twice per night); the feeling that the bladder is not empty, even when finished urinating; the inability to delay urination once the urge arises; a weak urinary system; and the dribbling of urine among many other similar symptoms.

So, what are the experts recommending to doctors and their patients with enlarged prostates?

In cases where a patient is suspected to have lower urinary tract issues, a doctor should get the patient's medical history and assess symptoms using the American Urological Association's symptoms index. Additionally, the doctor should conduct a full physical examination including a digital rectal exam of the patient.

Other beneficial tools for reaching the correct diagnosis include lab tests - such as urine analyses and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests - as well as charts that outline how often and how much a patient urinates.

If a patient is diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and also has cataract surgery scheduled, the guidelines recommend that doctors postpone the prescription of alpha-blocker drugs to treat an enlarged prostate. This is because alpha-blockers increase the risk of intraoperative floppy iris syndrome, a complication of eye cataract surgery that can lead to a higher level of pain, a longer recovery, and overall worse surgery results.

As it has been eight years since the last new recommendations were issued, these new guidelines are being received happily. The updated guidelines are a way to standardize and improve care for patients with enlarged prostates.

By age 60, almost half of all men will have experienced symptoms of an enlarged prostate. An estimated 90 percent of men will have experienced symptoms of an enlarged prostate by 85 years of age.

For more information on the updated guidelines, visit the official website of the American Urological Association at

Review Date: 
February 8, 2011