The prostate is instantly blamed for most Las Vegas men having any difficulty with urinating such as frequency, urgency, waking up several times at night to urinate, slow stream, having to void twice in a row to feel empty, or not even feeling empty. However, sometimes the bladder is to blame, alone, or more commonly along with the prostate. Terms such as prostate enlargement or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) are often utilized, but a better term that urologists use is ‘Lower urinary tract symptoms’, which uses the acronym LUTS.
As men get older, the prostate normally enlarges. This will cause some symptoms in most but not all men. Some Las Vegas men will only have mild symptoms that don’t need treatment. Symptoms from prostate enlargement in Las Vegas occur not from the enlargement itself, but because the job of the urinary bladder is to push urine through the prostate through the urethra en route to the urine’s final destination. In modern times, this is typically the toilet. When the prostate causes a partial blockage due to enlargement, this puts the bladder under stress. Usually, the bladder’s first reaction is to simply push harder. However, each man’s bladder can react very differently.
To describe two extremes, one man’s bladder may not be able to push harder. The bladder fails to empty much each time the man tries to urinate, and the bladder may retain many ounces of urine all the time. This can increase the chance of infection in the short term, and in the longer, but variable term, can damage the bladder and even the kidneys. If not treated before there is bladder damage, the damage may not be recoverable even if the man has prostate surgery.
The other extreme can be that the bladder muscle thickens and gets stronger due to the stress. This is not through any exercise as the bladder can’t be exercised like your bicep muscle. In some cases the bladder muscle also gets very irritable and jumpy as it gets thicker, and a man can get the signal to have to urinate, sometimes urgently, even when not very much urine has accumulated in the bladder. It is difficult to stop the urge, but when the man urinates, there is not even much volume coming out.
If the bladder is abnormal as well as the prostate enlarged, some men will need treatment for the prostate first, and if symptoms are not adequately resolved, treatment for the bladder as well. At Newman Urology in Las Vegas, we have the ability to perform a minimally invasive test called a Urocuff test that can evaluate the prostate AND bladder in one short test. If you have lower urinary tract symptoms, call your local Las Vegas Urologist and have us check out!