Complications of Enlarged Prostate

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Complications of Enlarged Prostate

Topic Overview

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) rarely has complications. When it does, they are often due to severe obstruction of the urine flow. These complications include:

  • Complete blockage of the urethra (acute urinary retention, or AUR), which results in a complete inability to urinate. A tube called a catheter may be needed to drain urine from the bladder.
  • Long-term, partial blockage of urine flow from the bladder (chronic urinary retention, or CUR), which causes urine to remain in the bladder after urination (post-void residual urine). In rare cases, this may lead to kidney damage, which may be reversed if the problem is diagnosed and treated before the damage becomes too severe. It may also result in waste products building up in the blood.
  • A urinary tract infection (UTI). However, repeated urinary tract infections may be caused by long-term inflammation or infection in the prostate (chronic prostatitis). For more information on prostatitis, see the topic Prostatitis.

Other complications of BPH may include bladder stones or infections and visible blood in the urine (gross hematuria).


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Last Revised June 25, 2010

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