March 16, 2009 -- Question: What are the problems associated with an enlarged prostate?
Answer: In severe cases of obstructive symptoms, the bladder, which normally has a capacity of 500 cc, may distend up to 2 L or 2,000 cc. And in severe cases of obstruction that causes increased pressure in the bladder, which then backs up into the kidneys and can cause kidney damage and even renal failure, resulting in the need for dialysis.
So, while most people with BPH are troubled with the symptoms, in very severe cases of BPH, it can lead to renal failure.
Patients with BPH, also, who incompletely empty their bladder, are at increased risk for urinary tract infections and bladder stones.
There's also a mild association between BPH and erectile dysfunction, but really the pathway and mechanism for that hasn't been elucidated.