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Alternative Names Return to topBOO; Lower urinary tract obstruction; Prostatism
Definition Return to top
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.
Causes Return to top
Bladder outlet obstruction can have many different causes, including:
Less common causes of bladder outlet obstruction include:
Bladder outlet obstruction 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, the chance of developing these diseases increases dramatically.
Symptoms Return to top
The symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction may vary, but can include:
Exams and Tests Return to top
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 Return to top
Treatment of bladder outlet obstruction depends on the cause of the problem. For most cases, a Foley catheter (a tube inserted through the urethra into the bladder) will relieve the obstruction temporarily.
Occasionally, a suprapubic catheter (a catheter through the abdomen 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 BOO. Discuss treatment options with your health care provider.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
If diagnosed early, most causes of BOO can be treated with great success. However, if diagnosis is delayed, permanent damage can result.
Possible Complications Return to top
Complications of BOO can be devastating. Long-term or high-grade bladder outlet obstruction can permanently damage all parts of the urinary system.
Complications of BOO include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
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.
Prevention Return to top
The condition may be prevented by identifying and treating the cause of the blockage.Update Date: 5/22/2008 Updated by: Scott M. Gilbert, MD, Department of Urology, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.