Specialty Details

Disease treatment prostate

Your doctor is likely to start by asking questions about your symptoms. You will also undergo a physical examination. This examination is likely to include:

Finger rectal examination. The doctor inserts a finger into the rectum to check for an enlarged prostate.
urinalysis The lab checks a sample of your urine to see if you have a disease or other problems that could be causing symptoms similar to those of BPH.
Blood analysis. The results can show any problems with your kidneys.
You may then need other tests that can help confirm an enlarged prostate. These tests include:

A blood test for prostate-specific antigen. PSA is a protein produced in the prostate, and its levels rise when the prostate is enlarged. But elevated levels can also be caused by recent medical procedures, illnesses, surgery, or prostate cancer.
Urine flow test. You'll urinate into a container attached to a device. This device measures the force and amount of urine flow. Test results can determine whether your condition is improving over time or worsening.
Test the amount of urine remaining after emptying the bladder. This test measures whether or not you are able to completely empty your bladder. This test can be done using an imaging test called an ultrasound, or by inserting a tube called a catheter into your bladder after you urinate to measure how much urine is left in your bladder.
Record emptying times throughout the day. This includes recording how often you urinate and how much you urinate. This method can be most useful if more than a third of the urine is passed at night.
If your health problem is more complex, you may need tests such as:

Ultrasound imaging of the rectum. A device that uses sound waves is inserted into the rectum for imaging. This device measures the size of the prostate and examines it.
Prostate biopsy. A sample of prostate tissue is removed using ultrasound-guided needles. Examination of the tissue can help your doctor determine whether you have prostate cancer.
Wetting dynamics and pressure flow studies. In this test, a catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Water or sometimes air is injected into the bladder slowly to measure bladder pressure and determine how well the bladder muscles are working.
Cystoscopy. A flexible, lighted instrument is inserted into the urethra and enables the doctor to see the inside of the urethra and bladder. Before the test, you will be given medication to prevent you from feeling pain.
Tests and diagnostics at Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic specialists have experience diagnosing complex cases of an enlarged prostate. You have access to the latest diagnostic tests including urodynamic studies and pressure flow studies.