Management of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has been central to urology for decades. The urologic community has increasingly come to realize that many men with LUTS do not have prostate enlargement and do not need their prostates debulked surgically. Of all the factors that have emerged to alter the trends associated with management of LUTS and BPH, none has had more impact than the advent of medical therapy. The selective, long-acting, α1-blocking agents terazosin, doxazosin, and tamsulosin have become most popular because of their specificity in the urinary tract, reduced side effects, and simplicity of dosage. In addition, finasteride, a 5-α-reductase inhibitor, was found to be effective in men with prostates of ≤40 g. Furthermore, the larger the prostate at baseline, the greater the efficacy of finasteride on symptom relief and flow rate improvement. In addition to medical therapy, an array of device therapies has emerged in the management of LUTS and BPH. Laser prostatectomy is the oldest of the device therapies and includes transurethral vaporization of the prostate (VLAP), transurethral evaporation of the prostate (TUEP), and transurethral interstitial laser prostatectomy (TILP). Studies report beneficial outcomes approaching those achieved with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) with less morbidity and a shorter hospital stay. Common diseases contribute the most to national healthcare expenditures. The management of LUTS and BPH are such disorders and result in the expenditure of vast healthcare resources worldwide. The surgical strategies have an established record of outcomes documenting their potential for symptom relief and the avoidance of future complications. Medical and device therapies, although currently promising and attractive, therefore must prove comparable durability.
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