Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Urology
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Benign Prostate Diseases and Male Voiding Dysfunction

Conditions we treat within this category include:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (Enlarged prostate)
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Incontinence
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency

One of the most common benign urologic conditions faced by men is benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition in which the prostate is enlarged but is not cancerous. Over 80 percent of men will develop BPH, with 50 percent of men developing the condition by the age of 50. As men age, the prostate continues to grow. In men with BPH, the enlarged prostate puts pressure on the urethra and bladder. This weakens and irritates the bladder resulting in frequent urination, urgency to urinate, decreased urine flow and the feeling that the bladder is still full after urinating.

Other benign conditions include incontinence, frequency, urgency, and incomplete bladder emptying.  The Department of Urology has a longstanding history of achieved breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of these common urological conditions.


Inflammation is a significant finding in a variety prostate diseases including prostatitis, BPH, and prostate cancer. Our department studies microbial and autoimmune mediated inflammation and innate and adaptive immune mechanisms in prostate disease. Projects in the lab use a combination of in vitro studies, animal models and clinical specimen assays to examine questions of interest such as the role of chemokines and T cells in chronic pelvic pain.

Selected Publications

Roman K, Murphy SF, Done JD, McKenna KE, Schaeffer AJ, Thumbikat P. Role of PAR2 in the Development of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction. Journal of Urology, August 2016.

Liu JS, Hofer MD, Milose J, Oberlin DT, Flury SC, Morey AF, Gonzalez CM.  Male Sling and Artificial Urethral Sphincter for Male Stress Urinary Incontinence Among Certifying American Urologists. Urology, January 2016.

Johnson EK, Hedgepeth RC, He C, Wood DP Jr. The impact of anterior urethropexy during robotic prostatectomy on urinary and sexual outcomes. Journal of Endourology, April 2011.

 Patient Care

Our urologists provide extensive follow-up care to optimize bladder health for men, including education on exercises known to strengthen muscles associated with urinary continence or medication to improve urinary flow and treat bothersome bladder symptoms. Currently the main treatment options for BPH are watchful waiting, medication, surgery (generally a TURP, or transurethral resection of the prostate), or intermittent catheterization.

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