April 17, 2017

Since one out of every three men is diagnosed with Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) after the age of 50, University Hospital Sharjah opens new clinic dedicated to men’s health

A 70 year-old patient unknowingly suffered from prostatic enlargement for 10 years

UAE, Sharjah, March 2017

University Hospital Sharjah (UHS), Sharjah’s leading healthcare provider, opens a new clinic dedicated to men’s health. The facility will focus on illnesses that particularly afflict men like Benign prostatic hyperplasia, which involves the swelling of the prostate. In addition to prostate diseases like BPH, the men’s clinic manages a wide range of common male health concerns, including: changes during adolescence, andropause (male menopause), hormonal issues and diseases that can affect fertility. The new clinic will see approximately 50 patients daily.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located around the bladder and its main function is to secrete prostate fluid, which allows men to procreate. It also produces antibacterial secretions which prevent urinary tract infection (UTI). Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) involves in an increase in the number of cells and the enlargement of the prostate. One out of every three men is diagnosed with BPH after the age of 50. The disease is often considered a normal part of the aging process in men. An estimated 30% of men have evidence of BPH by age of 60 and above and 90% by age of 85 and above.

Dr Tharwat Ramadan, Senior Consultant Urologist, explained, "The causes of BPH are not yet clearly understood, but research shows parallels with imbalances in the DNA content of the prostate tissue cells. As a result, the cells do not die at the end of their cycle, and instead, continue to accumulate along with the new cells. There is an enzyme in the prostatic tissue that converts testosterone into other hormones, and this leads to more enlargement and worse symptoms."

Understanding the aforementioned parallels is crucial to administering treatment says Dr Ramadan. Some treatments are based on destroying the enlarged cells, while others use hormonal therapy. Symptoms of prostate enlargement involve abnormal functions of the urinary tract, such as a slow or interrupted urinary stream, frequent urination, a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying and/or terminal dribbling. BPH can lead to a variety of complications, including: urinary tract infections (UTIs), acute urinary retention (AUR) and bladder stones. Large amounts of urine retained in the urinary tract can damage the kidney and bladder.

"A clinical examination of the abdomen is conducted to detect any abnormal enlargement of the bladder caused by an obstruction. Physicians then perform general examinations of neurological and motor functions to make sure the problem is not related to any abnormality in the functions of the bladder or prostate. Finally, a digital rectal exam is conducted to determine the size and nature of enlargement," concluded Dr Ramadan.

BPH is treated using a number of treatment plans. Regular medical follow-ups and lifestyle adjustments can relieve symptoms. There are also pharmacological treatments, including: alpha blockers, hormonal stimuli or tamsulosin. In instances where drug treatment fails to control symptoms of BPH, there are many surgical alternatives. There are minor surgeries like laparoscopic prostatectomy and laser prostatectomy as well as more advanced surgeries like open-radical prostatectomy.

A 70 year-old patient and UAE national is currently under treatment at the new clinic. The patient was not aware of his prostate enlargement or the family history of this disease as it is most often hereditary. He commented: "I had acute abdominal pain and urinary disorders. I visited many hospitals and was informed that I had a prostate problem for the last 10 years. I noticeably improved after my visit to UHS thanks to the consistent follow-ups by the medical team and their advanced equipment. Now I visit the hospital on a regular basis to undergo ultrasound tests and medical check-ups". The doctors said that the patient is recovering well.

Minor cases of BPH should confirm the diagnosis to exclude other possibilities by performing the appropriate lab tests. Despite the fact that BPH is a normal part of the aging process in men, there are tips that can help reduce the problem:

  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Avoid drinking water one hour before sleeping
  • Avoid excessive use of decongestants
  • Avoid holding urine
  • Develop a daily urination schedule
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to cold temperature
  • Patients that use diuretic drugs must visit a physician to adjust their medication schedule so as not to cause increased urinary symptoms of prostate enlargement

Lifestyle adjustments that men can make now to avoid the problem:

  • Drink enough liquids but not excessively
  • Urinate every three hours
  • Maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity
  • Perform pelvic muscle exercises
  • Maintain healthy nutrition which contains fresh vegetables and fruits and
  • Regular visits to a physician for early detection and easy treatment

Utilising the most state-of-the-art technology and adhering to the best international standards, the clinic’s team of medical, nursing and allied healthcare professionals all specialise in men’s health issues.



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