What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men age. More than 70 percent of men over the age of 60 have urinary symptoms attributable to BPH.

What are the symptoms of benign prostatic gyperplasia?

Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia can include; weak urinary stream, increased urinary frequency, waking up at night to urinate, difficulty initiating stream, and urgency and difficulty emptying the bladder. 

What causes benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Although it is not entirely clear what causes the prostate to enlarge, it is thought that it may be due to changes in the balance of sex hormones as men grow older.

How is benign prostatic hyperplasia diagnosed?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia can be diagnosed with a visit to the doctor. The doctor will ask detailed questions about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. This exam can include:

  • A digital rectal exam
  • Urine test
  • Blood test
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

Your doctor may also recommend additional tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as:

  • Urinary flow test
  • Postvoid residual volume test
  • 24-hour voiding diary

For a more complex BPH case, your doctor may also recommend:

  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Urodynamic and pressure flow studies
  • Cystoscopy

How is benign prostatic hyperplasia treated?

Urologists at Boston Medical Center specialize in minimally invasive procedures to treat BPH. Each patient will receive an individualized treatment plan which can include:

  • Urolift™: The novel system uses a specialized stapling device to lift or hold enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra, like opening curtains on a window.
  • Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP): An incision is made into the prostate to improve urine flow without removing of tissue.
  • Laser enucleation of the prostate (LEP): A specialized laser is used to remove or “cut” the obstructive prostate tissue. The tissue is then removed from the bladder.
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): BMC surgeons perform bipolar TURP to resect obstructing tissue. This is the gold standard treatment for BPH and has a long track record of success.
  • Robotic simple prostatectomy: For extremely large prostates that are too big for an endoscopic procedure the DaVinci robot is used.  It decreases blood loss, pain, hospital stay, and catheterization time.

Departments and Programs Who Treat This Condition



Our expert team of subspecialty trained urologists provides comprehensive state-of-the-art care with all of the latest medical, surgical, technology, and techniques.

Center for Sexual Medicine

The Center for Sexual Medicine, which is one of the oldest multidisciplinary sexual medicine clinics in the world, diagnoses and treats men with sexual health concerns.

Interventional Radiology

Our highly skilled team provides comprehensive interventional radiology services, including minimally invasive procedures.