And men often think frequent trips to the bathroom are a natural part of ageing, when, in most cases, this is due to an enlarged prostate. In some cases, the solution is a minimally invasive procedure known as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a common procedure with patients back home after two to three days in hospital, says The Urology Hospital
’s Dr Francois Duvenage.
Dr Duvenage recently teamed up with NPO, Operation Healing Hands
(OHH) - which helps those who can’t afford life-saving operations - to offer a free TURP procedure on a 73-year-old man who had an indwelling catheter for six months and who had been unable to get immediate help from a public hospital.
“TURP, in many ways is the ultimate procedure in that we can operate without cuts by going in through the penis, removing enlarged parts of the prostate and thereby allowing patients to urinate freely again. Through his operation, we solved the problem of the 73-year-old patient effectively.”
Duvenage explained that an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) places pressure on the urethra, affecting urination. He said TURP is recommended when an enlarged prostate fails to respond to medication. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty starting to urine or being unable to empty the bladder fully.
- Having to strain to pass urine, having a weak urine flow or stopping and starting.
- Sudden urges to urinate or a frequent need to urinate including at night (known as nocturia).
“Not all men with enlarged prostates require this procedure. Medication helps if diagnosed early. I recommend all men over 40 should see a urologist annually to check for a cancerous or enlarged prostate,” said Dr Duvenage.
He urged men to call The Urology Hospital, Pretoria, to set up an appointment with a urologist. For more information, contact 012 423-4000 or SMS the word INFO and your email address to 33000 (SMS charged at R1.50).