Prostatism is a widely used term assigned to the symptom complex of older men with voiding dysfunction. The cause of the syndrome has routinely been ascribed to an enlarged prostate. More recent thinking recognizes that many men with such symptoms do not, in fact, have prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and that such symptoms are not a surrogate for BPH. Such recognition is essential if cost effective medical management of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) is to be achieved. Prostate volume has emerged as a key factor in the selection of medical therapy of LUTS and BPH not only regarding symptom relief but also to the newer concept of the prevention of disease progression and the avoidance of future adverse events in those men with true BPH. In the United States, medical management is now first line therapy for LUTS. The proper selection of therapy based on the patient's individual pathophysiologic characteristics is now made possible by many new recent studies within the medical literature.
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