DEAR DR. DONOHUE: About three years ago, I had a procedure to reduce the size of my prostate. It was Greenlight PVP laser procedure. My doctor did it on an outpatient basis. Since then, I have a normal flow for someone who is 79 years old. I sleep through the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom. Perhaps you could comment on this treatment. — L.M.
ANSWER: Prostate gland enlargement — benign (noncancerous) prostate hyperplasia or hypertrophy — is something that happens to just about all men. Fifty percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 have some gland enlargement, and by age 80, more than 80 percent have it. Not all these men have to deal with its exasperating consequences — frequent urination, nighttime urination, difficulty starting the stream — but enough do that it is a quite common problem.
Sometimes medicines can relax the chokehold that the big prostate has on the urethra, the tube draining the bladder, and there also are medicines that shrink the gland.
When medicines strike out, a large number of invasive procedures are readily available. The standard operation, TURP — transurethral resection of the prostate — is done with a scope and instrument passed into the urethra and advanced upward to the gland. The doctor shaves away portions of the gland. TUNA — transurethral needle ablation; TUMT — transurethral microwave therapy; and TUIP — transurethral incision of the prostate are procedures done very much like a TURP, but they employ different techniques for reducing the gland’s size. Some are done in the doctor’s office.
Greenlight Laser Photovaporization is a technique in which the prostate gland is downsized by vaporizing the excess with a laser that emits a green light. One big advantage this offers is a reduction of bleeding. The green-light laser seals blood vessels in the process. I am sure many men readers will appreciate your bringing up the topic.
The booklet on the prostate gland, both enlargement and cancer of, summarizes treatments for these conditions. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue — No. 1001W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853- 6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My 3-year-old granddaughter wakes up within a few hours of going to bed. She screams, and nothing consoles her. It’s like watching “The Exorcist.” I understand this is called night terror. Any suggestions? — C.S.
ANSWER: Many children suffer from night terrors. They usually occur in the first hours of sleep. The child suddenly screams, is wide-eyed, has a fast heartbeat, might be sweating, could thrash about or get up and walk zombielike. The child has no recollection of this the next day. The episodes are terrifying to onlookers. Speak to the child soothingly until he or she goes back to sleep. Night terrors peak between ages 5 and 7, and then tend to disappear. The child’s doctor should be informed of these so an exam to rule out any serious condition can be done.
Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
©2009 North America Synd.