Enlarged Prostate Tests

How We Diagnose An Enlarged Prostate

At City of Hope, we use several methods to diagnose an enlarged prostate, including:
  • Symptom score sheets:  These forms detail the symptoms patients may be experiencing. They are a valuable resource when diagnosing and directing therapy for patients.
  • Flow rate test: This test assesses a patient’s urine flow rate by measuring the strength of the patient’s stream. A stream of less that 15ml/s is highly indicative of an obstruction. 
  • Postvoid residual measurement:  Also known as a bladder scan, this noninvasive test ensures that you are emptying your bladder completely. The results of this test determine whether or not a patient is at risk of infection as well as if anticholinergic medications may be prescribed. 
  • Cystoscopy: This procedure involves placing a small camera into the urethra and bladder to determine the nature of the prostate anatomy, particularly the length of the prostate, and if the prostate has a median lobe creating a ball valve effect.  
  • Prostate volume measurements: This is an important test which places a small probe into the rectum to measure the prostate. Measuring the prostate’s size is important because it helps doctors determine the best treatment type of surgery to perform. For a smaller prostate, many surgical options are available; for larger prostates, there are only a few options that we recommend that have been shown to be most effective. The ultrasound measurement is the most accurate way to determine size.
  • Prostate specific antigen: Also known as PSA, this blood test detects prostate cancer and is necessary for every man between 45 and 75 years of age. Operating on a prostate with cancer is risky, and it is important to determine if there is any concern for cancer before starting treatment. 
  • Urine culture: This test involves collecting urine in a small cup and testing for infection. Prior to any surgery, we will test your urine to make sure there is no infection. If there is, we will treat it before we operate.