I am waiting for an operation to treat an enlarged prostate, after several tablets did not work. My advisor has told me that there are a few types of procedures they can’t offer me, such as less invasive. Should I ask for a second opinion?
Prostate problems are common in older men. And one that we see very often is an enlarged prostate, which occurs when the gland gets too big and presses on the bladder.
This causes a range of annoying symptoms, such as going to the toilet often at night and feeling like you haven’t emptied your bladder properly.
Often men find that their symptoms go away easily with medication. But if not, surgery is offered.
When it comes to operations, the NHS has a few options. Which patients get them depends on factors such as other health conditions and the specifics of their prostate problems.
Prostate problems are common in older men. And one that we see very often is an enlarged prostate, which occurs when the gland gets too big and presses on the bladder (stock image)
A common surgery is a transurethral incision of the prostate, or TUIP.
This is not an open surgery as doctors gain access to the affected area through the penis. It means a shorter hospital stay for patients and fewer side effects.
Another type of procedure is called a TURP, in which part of the prostate is removed. Also performed through the penis, it is more invasive than TUIP, so patients have to stay in the hospital longer. It can also cause problems with sexual function.
There are also many newer techniques for prostate enlargement. But not every urological center offers them.
Prostate surgery is a current innovation area in the NHS. One example is a procedure in which the prostate is cut out with a laser, while another operation uses a vaporization method. There is also a ‘lift’, where an implant is inserted to separate the prostate from the bladder. Patients normally do not need to stay in the hospital for this.
These methods have been developed to reduce side effects and improve the quality of life of men.
My fingertips are starting to get sore and the skin suddenly looks thicker – and not just after being in the water or out in the cold. Do I have to worry? I’m 60.
All skin conditions are horrible, but those that affect the hands can be especially uncomfortable.
The problem is difficult to treat because rubbing hands in cream makes everyday tasks impossible.
More from Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday…
Eczema can affect the fingertips, causing dry, flaky skin and pain. It can be treated by avoiding soap and using thick emollient creams available by prescription or from the pharmacist. We often recommend that patients use a cream soap before going to bed and use a treatment cream such as hydrocortisone so that it does not get wiped off.
Sore fingertips can also be a sign of a common circulatory problem called Raynaud’s. The fingertips may look wrinkled and change color — turning white or even purple — and feel sore or numb.
The symptoms are caused by changes in temperature, such as very cold weather, as well as stress and caffeine.
There are more unusual diseases that can affect the way the fingertips look. These include connective tissue or rheumatological conditions such as lupus or systemic sclerosis.
These diseases affect multiple parts of the body, including the connective tissue in the skin, causing tightness and pain. The skin can harden and thicken, causing joints in the finger to feel stiff and painful.
Can you help my 75 year old mother? My father recently passed away and she has lost a lot of weight – she is skin and bones and suddenly very weak. I’ve tried to fill her fridge with sweet treats, but she won’t eat them and keeps getting thinner. Is there a quick way to help her gain weight?
It is not uncommon for people to lose a lot of weight after a death. Sadness and sadness are factors, but there are also the practical things such as no longer shopping and cooking for someone else.
It is worth noting that dramatic weight loss can also be a symptom of a serious illness that can occur at the same time. Cancer is one – and should always be considered in an elderly person who is losing weight. A GP would conduct urgent tests and maybe even hospital examinations to make sure nothing is missed.
DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR DR ELLIE?
Email DrEllie@mailonsunday.co.uk or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.
dr. Ellie can only answer in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or provide personal answers.
Always consult your own doctor in case of health problems.
High-calorie foods are best for someone with a small appetite so that the person doesn’t have to eat large amounts. So go for nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, oily fish, avocado and milk drinks.
Adding cream, ground nuts, and oils to foods can also help.
There are also specialty medical milk drinks you can try that pack 300 calories into a 200ml bottle. Some patients find it helpful to add them to their regular diet.
Large meals can be uncomfortable, leaving people full quickly. Smaller meals and regular snacks may be easier.
It can also help to prepare meals in the refrigerator and an easy-to-use microwave.
By being frail and eating little, the elderly are at risk for serious health problems such as osteoporosis and infections. A doctor may advise taking vitamin D and calcium to help prevent some of these problems.
Menopause control at 45? Not for everyone
Should all women have a menopause checkup with their GP when they turn 45?
That’s the suggestion of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, chaired by Labor MP Carolyn Harris, pictured left with famed menopause campaigners Mariella Frostrup and Penny Lancaster. She says such a schedule would improve access to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
You’d think it’s a plan no woman can disagree with. I do.
Should all women have a menopause checkup with their GP when they turn 45? That’s the suggestion of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause, chaired by Labor MP Carolyn Harris, pictured with famous menopause campaigners Mariella Frostrup and Penny Lancaster
The point is that most women have no adverse effects during menopause and do not need HRT. Telling women that menopause is so disastrous that they need a check-up makes them fail. Not to mention that with the NHS in its current state, I’m pretty sure the resources could be much better spent on other, chronically underfunded areas of women’s health.
The key is to treat each woman as an individual. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for anyone, especially the patient.
Strokes can strike at any age
How old do you think you have to be to have a stroke?
Last week I was reminded how crucial it is for people of all ages to be aware of the signs when one happens.
I was invited on the ITV show This Morning with Coronation Street actor Chris Fountain to discuss the mini stroke he had earlier this year when he was just 35. Such a life-threatening event is very rare in people under 40, but he immediately recognized the symptoms – he had difficulty speaking – and called an ambulance. This quick response set him up for the best possible recovery. Most of us remember those terrifying TV ads that signal the first signs of a stroke. They may seem exaggerated, but they bring crucial messages into the public consciousness that could one day save your or someone else’s life.
I was invited on the ITV show This Morning, along with Coronation Street actor Chris Fountain (above) to discuss the mini-stroke he had earlier this year, aged 35.