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Guidance issued on men's urinary problems

20th May 2010

The first national guidance on diagnosing and treating lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men has been issued.

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says the latest guidance could benefit millions of patients.

While there are believed to be many men with LUTS such as needing to urinate frequently or urgently, urinary retention, hesitancy and incontinence there has not been any national guidance on the diagnosis and treatment of their symptoms until now.

NICE says its Clinical Guideline 97 should ensure that all such men receive the most effective treatments.

The regulator recommends that initial assessment should include general medical history and medication review; referring men for specialist assessment if they have LUTS; conservative management of uncomplicated symptoms such as lifestyle changes; and only offering drug treatments if symptoms are bothersome or if conservative management options have been unsuccessful or are inappropriate.

Men with acute urine retention should be catheterised immediately and surgery should be considered if medication has been unsuccessful or is inappropriate.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE said: “Urinary problems are estimated to affect around a quarter of men over 40, but the actual figure could be much higher as many men may be too embarrassed to visit their GPs for help, or unaware that they can be treated.

“As the prevalence of these symptoms increases with age, and with life expectancy on the rise in Britain, it is vital that the NHS uses the treatments and management techniques that are proven to work best.”

 

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