A common reason for men to wake up during the night with the urge to go is something called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. It's not cancer. It's really more bothersome than harmful, and you can usually treat it with medication.
But when that doesn't work, and the side effects become really annoying, surgery is an option, along with other techniques using lasers or microwaves. But here's what's new and approved by the FDA.
After testing at 14 centers nationwide, it's called the Prolieve System. It combines the microwaves used in other prostate techniques with an idea borrowed from heart procedures. A tube is passed through the penis into the bladder so a balloon can be inflated in the prostate, just as it is in angioplasty to open up blocked arteries. Then, microwaves heat the prostate from the inside. The combination creates a kind of stent inside the prostate.
"The other thing it does is it actually damages the nerves within the prostate and it helps reduce the symptoms. It's these nerves that are in the prostate that cause the urgency and frequency in the bladder, and that's what really bothers men," says Dr. Arnold Melmen, a urologist.
The long term follow-up is five years, and so far, the results seem to last that long. You might ask your doctor about the new Prolieve System if you're coping with BPH.
For more information about enlarged prostates, you can (click here) to visit the U.S. government's National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.