Diagnosing Enlarged Prostate
Riverside urologists have a variety of tests at their disposal to help diagnose BPH or an enlarged prostate and to confirm that your symptoms are not due to another cause.
Not every patient will have every test. Discuss your prescribed tests with your urologist to alleviate any concerns and so that you understand their purpose.
Digital rectal exam
This exam is simple, painless and one of the most effective tests for determining if you have an enlarged prostate or more serious condition. Wearing a lubricated examination glove, a doctor gently inserts a finger into your rectum. Because the prostate is located next to the rectum, a doctor can determine whether your prostate is enlarged or inflamed and check for signs of prostate cancer.
A urologist may order this test to to rule out other conditions when treating an enlarged prostate. It is also used to look for infections or signs of kidney disease.
PSA blood test
This test looks for the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the prostate gland. It's normal for your prostate to produce PSA, which helps liquefy semen. Higher than normal PSA levels are often associated with BPH — but you can have normal PSA values despite having an enlarged prostate. Higher than normal levels can also indicate prostate cancer or an inflamed prostate (prostatitis). Find out if you should get a PSA test.
To test whether your bladder is able to empty steadily and completely your urologist may conduct urodynamic tests. Why test the bladder? Your physician will want to eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms.
Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
This test estimates the size of your prostate gland and can be helpful in diagnosing or ruling out prostate cancer.
- After a lubricating gel is applied to your rectum, the ultrasound probe — about the size and shape of a large cigar — is inserted.
- Sound waves bouncing off your prostate create an image of your prostate gland.
- Ultrasound takes about five minutes and isn't painful.
Ultrasound: What to expect
Symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate, a blockage, anatomical abnormalities, or bladder stones can be detectec by conducting a procedure called a cystoscopy.