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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Screening and Tests for BPH

Diagnosing BPH in its earlier stages can lower the risk of developing complications. Delay can cause permanent bladder damage for which BPH treatment may be ineffective. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for BPH may include the following:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE). A procedure in which the physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to examine the rectum and the prostate gland for signs of cancer.
  • Intravenous pyelogram (IVP). A series of X-rays of the kidney, ureters, and bladder with the injection of a contrast dye into the vein to detect tumors, abnormalities, kidney stones, or any obstructions, and to assess renal blood flow.
  • Cystoscopy (also called cystourethroscopy). An examination in which a scope -- a flexible tube and viewing device -- is inserted through the urethra to examine the bladder and urinary tract for structural abnormalities or obstructions, such as tumors or stones.
  • Urine flow study. A test in which the patient urinates into a special device that measures how quickly the urine is flowing. A reduced flow may suggest BPH.