The human prostate gland is of undoubted importance in reproductive physiology and is one of the commonest causes of clinical urological problems in the male patient. Despite the wealth of published lit erature relating to the prostate gland surprisingly little is understood about its neural innervation, the influence of pharmacological factors and its precise physiological functions. Indeed, benign disorders of the prostate gland including benign prostatic hyperplasia, bladder neck dyssynergia and inflammatory disorders of the prostate (prostatitis, prostatodynia) although well recognised clinically, are as yet poorly characterised and understood. It was not until the late 1960s that the subject of urodynamics, which for the first time allowed scientific assessment of the function of the lower urinary tract, was introduced. The first section of this book considers recent advances in our understanding of the innervation of the bladder and prostate gland and the changes in bladder function which accompany prostate medi ated bladder outflow obstruction. The clinical consequence of benign prostatic hyperplasia in many patients is bladder outflow obstruction and although the traditional treatment of these conditions is by the use of ablative surgery, in recent years a number of new modalities have been investigated and are reviewed in the second section of the book.
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