In the years after your BPH surgery, it is important to continue having a rectal exam once a year and to have any symptoms checked by your doctor.
Since BPH surgery leaves behind a fair amount of the gland, it is still possible for prostate problems, including BPH, to develop again. However, surgery usually offers relief from BPH for at least 15 years. Only 10% of the men who have BPH surgery eventually need a second operation for enlargement. Usually these are men who had the first BPH surgery at an early age.
Sometimes, scar tissue resulting from surgery requires treatment in the year after BPH surgery.
Rarely, the opening of the bladder becomes scarred and shrinks, causing obstruction. This problem may require a surgical procedure similar to transurethral incision. More often, scar tissue may form in the urethra and cause narrowing. This problem can usually be solved with an in-office procedure where the doctor stretches the urethra.
Stents are small devices inserted through the urethra to the narrowed area and allowed to expand, like a spring. The stent pushes back the tissue of the prostate, widening the urethra. The FDA approved the Urolume® Endoprosthesis in 1996 to relieve urinary obstruction in men and improve the ability to urinate. The device is approved for use in men for whom other standard surgical procedures to correct urinary obstruction have failed.
Although some of the signs of BPH and prostate cancer are the same, having BPH does not seem to increase the chances of getting prostate cancer. Nevertheless, a man who has BPH may have undetected prostate cancer at the same time or may develop prostate cancer in the future. For this reason, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that all men over 40 have a rectal exam once a year to screen for prostate cancer.
After BPH surgery, the tissue removed is routinely checked for hidden cancer cells. In about 1 out of 10 cases, some cancer tissue is found, but it is often limited to a few cells of a non-aggressive type of cancer, and no prostate cancer treatment is needed.