Is there a best timing for benign prostatic hyperplasia surgery?

Treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has shifted over the last decades, with medical therapy becoming the primary treatment modality while surgery is being reserved mostly to patients who are not responding to medical treatment or presenting with complications from BPH. Here, we aim to to discuss the optimal timing of surgical management of LUTS/BPH.

A literature search was conducted on Pub-Med/MEDLINE database to identify reports published from January 1990 until January 2022 by combining the following MeSH terms: "Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms"; "Prostatic Hyperplasia"; "Prostatic Hyperplasia/therapy"; "Prostatic Hyperplasia/complications"; "Treatment Outcome"; "Time-to-Treatment". Evidence supporting or not early surgical treatment of BPH was examined and reported in a pros and cons form.

The "pro early surgery" highlighted the superior efficacy and cost-effectiveness of surgery over medical treatment for BPH, as well as the possibility of worse postoperative outcomes for delayed surgical treatment. The "con early surgery" considered that medical therapy is efficient in well-selected patients and can avoid the serious risks inherent to surgical treatment of BPH including important sexual side effects.

Clinical trials comparing the outcomes for prolonged medical therapy versus early surgical treatment could determine which approach is more beneficial in the long-term in context of the aging population. Until then, both approaches have their advantages and patients should be involved in the treatment decision.

The French journal of urology. 2024 Feb 05 [Epub]

Marc Fourmarier, Michael Baboudjian, Gregoire Robert, Souhil Lebdai

Department of Urology, CH Aix-Pertuis, Aix-en-Provence, France. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, North Hospital, Aix-Marseille University, AP-HM, Marseille, France., Department of Urology, Bordeaux Pellegrin University Hospital, Bordeaux, France., Urology Department, University Hospital of Angers, 49933 Angers cedex 9, France.