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Making small work of an enlarged prostate


The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in the male reproductive system that is needed for fertility. It secretes a fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid, which carries sperm. Fifty percent of men over the age of 50 experience an enlarged prostate. Typical treatments include lifestyle and behavior changes — such as reducing the intake of liquids and timed voiding — and medication. When none of these options works, doctors recommend minimally invasive procedures including transurethral needle ablation (which uses heat to destroy prostate tissue) or surgery (a transurethral resection of the prostate to remove tissue, or a transurethral incision of the prostate to widen the urethra). Holmium laser micro-enucleation for an enlarged prostate is a technique that is gaining exposure, and one that has introduced to Baylor St. Luke’s. A new, 120-watt holmium laser uses concentrated, high-energy waves and intense heat to destroy prostate gland tissue that obstructs the flow of urine or causes other complications.