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What Causes BPH, and How is it Diagnosed & Treated by Dr. David Harris?


  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the most common prostate problem for men over 50, caused by an enlarged prostate that pinches the urethra, leading to symptoms such as trouble starting urination, weak urine stream, and frequent urination.
  • Diagnosis of BPH involves a prostate exam and simple, non-invasive tests at the urologist’s office to determine urine flow and bladder emptying ability. More sophisticated tests, such as fiber optic scope evaluations, may be conducted if needed.
  • Treatment for BPH varies based on the severity of symptoms and can include lifestyle changes, oral medications, and surgical interventions. Urolift, a minimally invasive procedure, is a cutting-edge option that offers fewer side effects than medication and is less invasive than surgery.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition in which the male prostate gland interferes with the outflow of urine from the bladder. It is the most common prostate problem for men 50 and older. BPH is caused by an enlarged prostate that blocks the flow of urine. The enlarged prostate pinches the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body.

The symptoms of BPH are similar to what happens when you step on a running hose. The hose becomes pinched, blocking the flow of water and weakening the stream coming out. People dealing with BPH will have trouble starting to urinate and a weak urine stream. They will strain to urinate, with the flow stopping and starting several times. Another major symptom is frequent urination. Frequent, strong urges to urinate often disrupt sleep and everyday life. This is the symptom that brings men to their urologist.

Dr. David Harris of Fort Myers, FLOnce an appointment is made with the urologist, doctor and patient can begin discussing symptoms and the diagnostic process. If the patient’s complaints are consistent with BPH, the urologist will proceed with a prostate exam. There are also other simple, non-invasive tests that can be completed at the urologist’s office that will indicate the patient’s urine flow and ability to empty his bladder. More sophisticated testing is available if additional data on the patient’s BPH issue is needed. For example, fiber optic scope evaluations give the urologist the most detailed picture of the patient’s BPH, which can then be used to devise the best treatment plan.

Treatment for BPH depends on many factors. For some men, mild symptoms can be managed with slight lifestyle changes and without medical intervention. For men with more severe symptoms, there are a variety of treatment options available. Oral medications can help relax the muscles around the prostate to allow easier urine flow. In serious cases, when medication is not enough, there are surgeries that can treat BPH. One cutting-edge option, that is less invasive than surgery and carries fewer side effects than medication, is Urolift. This minimally invasive procedure implants a stint in the urethra that opens the flow of urine and minimizes the symptoms of BPH.

BPH is a common medical issue that affects men and impacts their lives. As Dr. David S. Harris explains, “In general, many of our guys can tell you every bathroom from Lowe’s to Publix.” Living with BPH means having to plan their lives around the frequent and urgent need to urinate. The urologists at the Advanced Urology Institute work closely with patients to find the best way to solve their BPH-related issues.


My name is David Harris and I’m a urologist with Advanced Urology Institute in Fort Myers. So what you’re talking about is a prostate problem related to obstruction of the outflow of urine from the bladder, a term that many people know and hear is called BPH, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. That means the prostate’s enlarged and in general terms people use that term to convey that there’s blockage when that man goes to urinate. And a classic symptom of that is the stream being weaker. But there can be other things. That man may have to urinate more frequently. Many of our guys can tell you every bathroom from Lowe’s to Publix, right? And getting up at night is actually usually one of the complaints that really pushes the guys to come in. They may have to go urgently and if things progress, the bladder may not empty well and we get into other problems related to that.

So if a guy comes in and the complaints are consistent with obstruction, we will do an exam of the prostate. There is other office testing that’s simple, non-invasive, that gives us an idea. Is there a poor flow? Is the patient not emptying? And we can proceed to very sophisticated testing with fiber optic scope evaluations and formal studies of bladder function and urine flow. And we can put together for that patient a picture defining your block, your prostate is this shape, this size and we can lay out the options for that man. And some men tolerate some symptoms that are mild and they prefer to follow that. But as things get worse, we can offer them a variety of medications and many times that can do the job. However, procedures are often needed and this has evolved dramatically over the course of my career.


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Advanced Urology Institute

Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients by providing excellent Patient-Centered Care. Set an appointment or visit our closest office near you.

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