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Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms-Suspicion of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Men who suffer lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as incontinence or problems urinating may have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate gland. An enlarged prostate gland may result in abnormal bladder function by causing bladder outlet obstruction, ultimately resulting in LUTS. LUTS may include a slow or weak urine stream, hesitancy in releasing urine, difficulty in emptying the bladder, and needing to get up at night to urinate.

Diagnosis of LUTS and possible BPH requires gathering the person’s past medical history and performance of a physical examination to assess the severity of the symptoms. The physical examination will include an abdominal examination to check for bladder swelling, examining the penis, and a rectal examination.

An ultrasound of the pelvis (bladder and prostate) may be appropriate to examine men with LUTS who are suspected to have BPH. The ultrasound of the pelvis will assess bladder volume and residual urine after urination. It may also be possible to see an enlarged prostate gland pushing up on the bladder.

A retroperitoneal ultrasound of the kidneys may also be appropriate in evaluating LUTS related to BPH, especially in patients with abnormal kidney function, blood in the urine, infection, or kidney stones. This examination includes imaging of the bladder, equivalent to ultrasound of the pelvis.

For more information, please visit the Enlarged Prostate (BPH) page.

This page was reviewed on July 25, 2022

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