By the time people with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) visit urologist Darshan Patel, M.D., they've likely already seen their primary care doctor. They may have tried medications that either are not working or are causing adverse side effects. Fortunately, for many patients with BPH, the condition can be managed with lifestyle changes.

People with BPH whose symptoms are not especially bothersome may opt for active surveillance, or the watchful waiting approach. This involves keeping an eye on the symptoms and forgoing medical or surgical intervention.

"It's more of a quality-of-life kind of thing," said Patel, an assistant professor of urology at University of California San Diego Health. "If they feel they can manage their symptoms and proceed with a lot of their normal daily activities without making a lot of accommodations, then this line of management makes sense."

A common but troublesome condition

Simply put, BPH is the age-related enlargement of the prostate, not inflammation caused by an infection, which is