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Enlarged Prostate Specialist

B. Robert Bamshad, MD

Urologist located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA

Prostate enlargement can occur for different reasons, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. As a leading urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Bamshad has extensive experience diagnosing and treating enlarged prostate in men from Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and from throughout the Greater LA region.

Enlarged Prostate Q & A

What causes the prostate gland to become enlarged?

The prostate gland is a small gland located between the bladder and the penis. The gland secretes some of the fluid that makes up semen and also helps propel the ejaculate through the urethra. Sometimes, the prostate can become enlarged as a result of age-related changes. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, and it's the most common cause of prostate gland enlargement. Less often, an enlarged prostate can develop as a result of infection-related inflammation (prostatitis) or prostate cancer.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

Some men have an enlarged prostate without experiencing any symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • frequent need to urinate
  • waking from sleep to urinate, sometimes more than once each night
  • increased urgency to urinate
  • weak or interrupted urine stream
  • dribbling or leakage of urine
  • difficulty emptying the bladder when urinating or straining to urinate

If an enlarged prostate is caused by an infection, urination may be painful or there may be blood in the urine.

How are the causes of an enlarged prostate diagnosed?

The digital rectal exam (DRE) is the most common way to diagnose an enlarged prostate. In this exam, a gloved and lubricated finger is inserted into the rectum to gently palpate the gland and determine if it feels enlarged or abnormal. A blood test may also be ordered to check for a substance called prostate-specific antigen or PSA. Elevated levels of PSA have been associated with prostate cancer in some men. A biopsy may be performed in patients in whom prostate cancer is suspected. Other methods to evaluate the prostate include ultrasonography and/or cystoscopy.

What treatments are available for an enlarged prostate?

When an enlarged prostate occurs as a result of BPH, treatment may include medication, microwave or laser therapy to shrink the gland or other minimally-invasive procedures to remove all or a part of the gland. When an underlying infection is present, it will be treated with antibiotics. There are multiple treatment options for prostate cancer including radiation, surgery, freezing, ultrasound, hormonal, or a combination of approaches.