I am 77, and reasonably fit. I have had an enlarged prostate for many years, and when last measured (November 2019) it was about 140ml and described as huge. I experienced my first episode of significant bleeding from the prostate in 2011, and have had a couple of episodes since then, the last precipitated by an inexperienced GP who carried out a less than gentle rectal examination.
After several years of treatment with dutasteride, I experienced painful breast enlargement, and treatment was stopped. I cannot take alpha blockers as they precipitate sudden fainting episodes, so I resorted to Saw Palmetto, which eased my symptoms considerably, reducing nightime loo trips to 2 or 3 rather than 5 or more.
In November 2019 a routine MRI scan, while showing no evidence of prostate cancer, threw up a coincidental finding of a large aortic aneurysm sitting just above the heart. After Covid delays I had surgery to repair the aorta and this was very successful, and I have recovered well. However, routine follow up blood tests showed very high CRP (c reactive protein) levels and my GP was concerned that I might have an infection that could seriously damage the heart and I was sent to hospital for urgent tests to check this out. Despite being fit and mobile, I was given a subcutaneous heparin anticoagulant, a treatment normally only given to immobile, bed-bound patients at high risk of developing blood clots. Within a few hours my enlarged prostate symptoms worsened to the point that I was in constant pain, and passing urine became increasingly difficult. I subsequently confronted the consultant who flatly refused to accept that the anticoagulant had caused the problem, so I discharged myself in disgust, believing that my symptoms would return to normal once the anticoagulant had been flushed out of my system. This was a vain hope, as my urine flow stopped completely and my wife had to rush me to A&E in the small hours to have a catheter fitted.
In the following weeks all the necessary scans and tests were carried out and no evidence of any infection was found, and the conclusion was reached that the high CRP levels were being caused by my very enlarged prostate.
After having the catheter in place for a month I persuaded my GP that we should see if my prostate and bladder were sufficiently rested to allow it to be removed. All seemed to be well for several hours, but urinary retention returned and another dash to A&E in the middle of the night was required to have the catheter replaced.
I have recently spoken to a private urology consultant, who recommended "Bipolar TURP + Insertion of Superpubic Catheter" and did his best to explain what that would involve. In view of propensity of my prostate to bleed at the slightest provocation, I am worried that the bipolar TURP will trigger heavy loss of blood. Am I worrying too much about this? Can anyone comment on alternative procedures that might allow me to return to a catheter free life?