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In real life, whenever I met an older man, if the situations allowed, I always asked about their health experiences, and recently the questions have been about prostate problems. To my surprise, most of them chose medications over surgeries.
Leo, my neighbor, in his 80's, has been taking meds for over 20 years, never had a need for surgeries.
Oscar, my bus friend, also in his 80's, had TURP when he was in his 60's. "It was so horrible. I will not do it again." He has been taking alfuzosin since.
An, 78, a family doctor, has also been on meds for years, including finasteride. I asked him about surgeries. His answer was: "I will not have surgery unless my situation is life threatening."
On this BPH forum, where I have learned so much, meds takers are like a dying breed. The usual comments are like "Meds are poison. Do not take it. It will destroy you and your sex life." Or "I took meds for a while but I started to lose its effectiveness, so I opt for surgeries." I am sure drugs cause side effects but some did not even give it a try because of these statements.
I don't know why but there is tremendous pressure for men on this forum to recommend surgeries. Not any particular surgery. As long as it is surgery, it is better than meds. Is there a conspiracy, since meds are cheap and surgeries are where the money is ? Despite the facts that most medical web sites put drugs as first line of defense for BPH.
Though well intentioned, this macho man attitude may have caused numerous needless pain and suffering for many people. People are so excited with posts of successful surgeries like "now I can pee like a 20 year old" and overlook the failures. One fellow had 3 surgeries within the last 2 years, the second to fix the first, the third to fix the second, and is still worse off than before. I am sure there are sadder stories out there. Any problems people have, they immediately blame their meds and seek surgeries.
Then the CIC (self cath) movement picked up steam, helping people from rushing onto the cut tables. However, again well intentioned, some CICers started to advise people to get off meds for CIC.
The pressure got to me as well. So much that I have been looking at different procedures, with FLA currently as my first choice. However, now I question myself whether or not I really need any surgery.
I am 63, with 200ml urinary retention and some hesitancy, stop-and-start stream. Sleep all night, mostly thanks to my liquid intake management. I have been on Doxazosin for about 6 years. Just started finasteride 4 months ago to experiment. The side effects so far have been acceptable. A little RE which I care less. A little loss in libido but Viagra will more than compensate for. Also, with the above symptoms, my main problem maybe the bladder, not the prostate, as more and more people on this forum recently found out and unveiled. Surgeries may not help at all.
I also do CIC once a day before bedtime, to empty my bladder for my kidney's sake, and to sleep longer. I actually did go the CIC way for a few months, 4-5 times a day, no meds. However, at the end, I prefer meds over CIC. Some people compared CIC with brushing teeth. For me, I would rather brush my teeth. I always have anxiety every time that long catheter was pushed near my prostate, perhaps due to some earlier bleeding I experienced. For me, drugs are easier, more convenient.
I am not against surgeries. I think some people really needed them. I just think that too many people rushed into surgeries without actually searching for an alternative first. CIC is one. Medication should be another. After that, if you indeed need it, which surgery is the right one for you. Surgeries are not reversible. Meds usually are.
So my suggestion to long-time med takers out there on this forum: "It is time to get out of the closet. Please come forward and share your success (or failure) stories. Perhaps your stories will balance out somewhat the frenzy out there, and perhaps helping others in the process."
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