The prostate gland surrounds the urethra where it leaves the bladder. If the prostate enlarges (the medical name is benign prostatic hyperplasia) it can press on the urethra from the outside. This can cause problems with passing urine, called lower urinary tract symptoms or LUTS. These can sometimes be managed by lifestyle changes or medication. If these do not work, surgical procedures including TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), laser surgery, or completely removing the prostate are sometimes options. These can have side effects including bleeding, infection, incontinence and problems with erections.
NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) and NICE's information for the public about lower urinary tract symptoms in men may be a good place to find out more.
NICE has looked at inserting implants into the prostate as another treatment option. Click on to the next page to find out more.