Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a blockage at the base of the bladder that reduces or prevents the flow of urine into the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.
Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) can have many different causes, including:
Less common causes include:
This condition is most common in aging men. It is often caused by BPH. Bladder stones and bladder cancer are also more commonly seen in men than women. As a man ages, his chance of developing these diseases increases dramatically.
The symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction may vary, but can include:
If bladder outlet obstruction is suspected, your health care provider will take a thorough history of your problems. During a physical exam, your provider may find one or more of the following possible causes:
Tests may include:
Treatment of bladder outlet obstruction depends on the cause of the problem. For most cases, a tube called a catheter, inserted through the urethra into the bladder, will relieve the blockage.
Sometimes a suprapubic catheter (a tube placed through the belly area into the bladder) is needed to drain the bladder.
Long-term treatment of bladder outlet obstruction usually involves surgery. However, medical treatment options are available for many of the diseases that cause this problem. Discuss treatment options with your health care provider.
If diagnosed early, most causes of bladder outlet obstruction can be successfully treated. However, if the diagnosis is delayed, permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys can result.
If you have symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction, call your provider. Early diagnosis is important and can often lead to a simple and effective cure.
BOO; Lower urinary tract obstruction; Prostatism
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Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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