Understanding the Link Between BPH and Bladder Stones


If you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and later develop bladder stones, is it a coincidence, or is there a relationship between the two conditions?

It could definitely be more than a coincidence. In some men, prostate enlargement results in retained urine within the bladder (incomplete bladder emptying). Urine contains many substances (solutes or salts) that create microscopic crystals. These microscopic crystals formed from calcium, oxalate, phosphate, and uric acid do not cause a problem as long as urine flows continuously from the kidney to the bladder and out of the body. However, if urine is retained anywhere along the excretory tract (including the bladder), these small crystals have time to aggregate and enlarge, forming a stone.

Stones can cause chronic inflammation within the bladder and lead to recurrent infections. Some stones, when they are composed primarily of uric acid, can be dissolved with oral medication that alkalinizes the urine.

When stones are troublesome and resistant to medical treatment, they can be removed regardless of whether the prostate is going to be treated surgically. Minimally invasive methods for stone treatment are very effective when the stones are not too large. If the stones are very large, and sometimes they can be, they can be removed through a small incision or puncture directly into the bladder, while the patient is under anesthesia.