Growths of the Prostate. One of the most common and troublesome difficulties for males beyond the age of fifty is non-
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Fig. 109. The prostate gland’s tendency to enlarge with age can cause great difficulty with urination. Because the narrow urinary channel runs through the prostate, pressure from an enlarging growth may completely blockade the urine’s outlet. Surgical removal cures the condition.
cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland which creates urinating difficulties known the world over. Developing gradually from an unknown cause, the symptoms begin as a slow starting stream of urine, which becomes greatly weakened and at times even dribbling. There might be a full minute or more of waiting before urination commences, and the weak urinary stream is only a faint shadow of the forceful stream of urination known in youth.
The enlarging prostate not only obstructs the urinary flow, but also makes nearly impossible complete emptying of the bladder which, like a half emptied glass of water, is refilled quickly. This makes frequent urination necessary, sleep is interrupted possibly five to ten times a night. With each urination, however, only a small portion of the urine present escapes from the overfilled bladder and the urge to urinate quickly returns. Several aids of doubtful value, in common practice to encourage urinating ability, include the psychological benefit of running water from a nearby faucet and sitting in a tub of warm water.
Prostate growth difficulties often follow an uneven course, worse one day than another, but progressive worsening may eventually find these people unable to urinate at all, and a state of semi-emergency arises. At this stage a mechanical drainage of urine from the bladder must be done by introducing a small tube through the urethra into the urinary bladder, to provide an orifice for the escape of the entrapped urine.
The permanent cure of prostate hypertrophy, calls for the mechanical removal of the prostate tissue which is squeezing and obstructing the urinary channel. This operation, called prostatectomy, is usually done directly through the urethra itself, by means of a slender electrical cautery specially devised for this purpose. Removal of the prostate gland, properly done, restores urinary function as known in youth. This operation does not interfere with sexual relations, so far as erection of the penis is concerned, but it does usually render a male sterile. As most prostate gland operations are done after fifty or sixty years of age, sterility is usually not of great concern.
Fig. 110. Once the prostate gland is removed, the urinary stream again becomes forceful.