Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is not simply a case of too many prostate cells. Prostate growth involves hormones, occurs in different types of tissue (e.g., muscular, glandular), and affects men differently. As a result of these differences, treatment varies in each case. There is no cure for BPH and once prostate growth starts, it often continues, unless medical therapy is started.

The prostate grows in two different ways. In one type of growth, cells multiply around the urethra and squeeze it, much like you can squeeze a straw. The second type of growth is middle-lobe prostate growth in which cells grow into the urethra and the bladder outlet area. This type of growth typically requires surgery.

Some signs to look for include:
 * Weak urinary stream
* Prolonged emptying of the bladder
* Abdominal straining
* Hesitancy
* Irregular need to urinate
* incomplete bladder emptying
* Post-urination dribble
* Irritation during urination
* Frequent urination
* Nocturia– need to urinate during the night
* Urgency
* Incontinence-involuntary leakage of urine.
* Bladder pain
* Dysuria– painful urination

Medications

Alpha blockers1-adrenergic receptor antagonists) provide symptomatic relief of BPH symptoms. Available drugs include doxazosin, terazosin, alfuzosin and tamsulosin. Older drugs, phenoxybenzamine and prazosin are not recommended for treatment of BPH.[5] Alpha-blockers relax smooth muscle in the prostate and the bladder neck, and decrease the degree of blockage of urine flow. Alpha-blockers may cause ejaculation back into the bladder (retrograde ejaculation).

The 5α-reductase inhibitors (finasteride and dutasteride) are another treatment option. This medication inhibits 5a-reductase, which in turn inhibits production of DHT, a hormone responsible for enlarging the prostate. When used together with alpha blockers a reduction of BPH progression to acute urinary retention and surgery has been noted in patients with larger prostates.

Though former research indicated the efficacy of Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) fruit extracts in alleviating mild-to-moderate BPH symptoms, a recent double-blind study did not demonstrate any efficacy greater than that of a placebo for moderate-to-severe symptoms.[ Herbal medicines that have research support in systematic reviews include beta-sitosterol from Hypoxis rooperi (African star grass) and pygeum (extracted from the bark of Prunus africana), while there is less substantial support for the efficacy of Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed and Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) root. At least one double-blind trial has also supported the efficacy of rye flower pollen.


Surgery

If medical treatment fails, transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) surgery may need to be performed. This involves removing (part of) the prostate through the urethra. There are also a number of new methods for reducing the size of an enlarged prostate, some of which have not been around long enough to fully establish their safety or side effects. These include various methods to destroy or remove part of the excess tissue while trying to avoid damaging what's left. Transurethral electrovaporization of the prostate (TVP), laser TURP, visual laser ablation (VLAP), Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), TransUrethral Needle Ablation (TUNA), ethanol injection, and others are studied as alternatives.

Newer techniques involving lasers in urology have emerged in the last 5-10 years, starting with the VLAP technique involving the Nd:YAG laser with contact on the prostatic tissue. A similar technology called Photoselective Vaporization of the Prostate (PVP) with the GreenLight (KTP) laser have emerged very recently. This procedure involves a high powered 80 Watt KTP laser with a 550 micrometre laser fiber inserted into the prostate. This fiber has an internal reflection with a 70 degree deflecting angle. It is used to vaporize the tissue to the prostatic capsule. KTP lasers target haemoglobin as the chromophore and typically have a penetration depth of 2.0mm (four times deeper than holmium).

Another procedure termed Holmium Laser Ablation of the Prostate (HoLAP) has also been gaining acceptance around the world. Like KTP the delivery device for HoLAP procedures is a 550um disposable side-firing fiber that directs the beam from a high powered 100 Watt laser at a 70degree from the fiber axis. The holmium wavelength is 2,140nm, which falls within the infrared portion of the spectrum and is invisible to the naked eye. Where KTP relies on haemoglobin as a chromophore, water within the target tissue is the chromophore for Holmium lasers. The penetration depth of Holmium lasers is <0.5mm>