How can a man evaluate the benefits and risks of surgery? Many in the medical field are still not certain as to what the advantages of an operation on the prostate are. There is a lot of information, including medical studies, available to guide the patient. But every patient is unique, and doctors can offer no universal advice as to which direction to follow. An overwhelming number of urologists have expressed concern for their patients, who must endure much grief from a gland that causes more distress than just about any other structure in the body. Out of this concern, they may recommend surgery, as many urologists share the opinion that an operation on the prostate is one of the few types of surgery that can bring about dramatic improvement in the quality of a patients life.
Dr. John Weinberg, a researcher at Dartmouth Medical School, looked at the practice styles of urologists in Maine who treated BPH patients. He found that many of the doctors recommended surgery in the belief that it would prevent more serious problems and increase the patient's longevity and quality of life. In fact, the men who had surgery had a slightly decreased life expectancy. The real value of prostate surgery related to the improvement in the quality of the patient's life.
Most patients expect too much from an operation on their prostate gland. Doctors should inform the patient that the objective of the surgery is to reestablish correct functional emptying of the bladder. Even under the best circumstancesthe utmost in patient cooperation and the finest surgery and carethe patient may continue to have moderate symptoms for a while. Nocturia, for example, is not going to disappear right awayit will take time to break the habit of frequent nightly trips to the bathroom.
Potential dangers do accompany surgery. I'll review these slight (but real) dangers in detail below. Most urologists agree that the dangers associated with surgery for PI I are grossly exaggerated.
A more legitimate fear concerns the possibility of developing retrograde ejaculation after surgery for BPH. In a healthy male with an erect penis, the bladder neck tightens and forces semen to flow through the penis at ejaculation. Prostate surgery often upsets the bladder neck mechanism and causes retrograde ejaculation, in which the semen flows backward into the bladder and not forward through the penis (semen tends to take the path of least resistance). The sensation is the same, and the semen is released with the next passage of urine. Some men find dry orgasms disturbing. However, no medical danger is associated with retrograde ejaculation. There is a problem only if a man wants to father a child, in which case he can consult his doctor for a technique to resolve this difficulty.
If you do decide to have surgery, then you must select a urologist in whom you have complete confidence. After all, this procedure will have a major impact on your health and well-being. We are talking about the rest of your life.
Men's Health Erectile Dysfunction

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