Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a blockage at the base of the bladder. It reduces or prevents the flow of urine into the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra).
Common causes of bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) include:
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 greatly.
The symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction may vary, but can include:
Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and will do a physical exam.
One or more of the following problems may be found:
Tests may include:
Treatment of bladder outlet obstruction depends on the cause of the problem. For most cases, a tube called a catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The catheter will relieve the blockage.
Sometimes a suprapubic catheter (a tube placed through the belly area into the bladder) is needed to drain the bladder.
Surgery is most often needed for long-term treatment of bladder outlet obstruction. However, many of the diseases that cause this problem can be treated with medicines. Talk to your health care provider about possible treatments.
Most causes of bladder outlet obstruction can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. However, permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys can result if the diagnosis is delayed.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction. Early diagnosis can often lead to a simple and effective cure.
BOO; Lower urinary tract obstruction; Prostatism
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McNicholas TA, Kirby RS, Lepor H. Evaluation and nonsurgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 92.
Andersson K, Wein AJ. Pharmacologic management of lower urinary tract storage and emptying failure. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 68.
Cespedes RD, Gerboc JL. Other therapies for storage and emptying failure. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 75.
Updated by: Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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