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Bladder outlet obstruction

BOO; Lower urinary tract obstruction; Prostatism; Urinary retention - BOO

Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a blockage at the base of the bladder. It reduces or stops the flow of urine into the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine out of the body.

Images

Kidney anatomy
Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract
Kidney - blood and urine flow

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Causes

This condition is common in aging men. It is often caused by enlarged prostate. Bladder stones and bladder cancer are also more commonly seen in men than women. As a man ages, the chances of getting these diseases increase greatly.

Other common causes of BOO include:

Less common causes include:

Symptoms

The symptoms of BOO may vary, but can include:

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You will undergo a physical exam.

One or more of the following problems may be found:

Tests may include:

Treatment

Treatment of BOO depends on its cause. A tube, called a catheter, is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. This is done to relieve the blockage.

Sometimes, a catheter is placed through the belly area into the bladder to drain the bladder. This is called a suprapubic tube.

Most often, you will need surgery for long-term cure of BOO. However, many of the diseases that cause this problem can be treated with medicines. Talk to your provider about possible treatments.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most causes of BOO can be cured if diagnosed early. However, if the diagnosis or treatment is delayed, this can cause permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have symptoms of BOO.

Related Information

Bladder stones
Obstructive uropathy
Reflux nephropathy
Enlarged prostate

References

Andersson KE, Wein AJ. Pharmacologic management of lower urinary tract storage and emptying failure. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 120.

Berney D. Urinary and male genital tracts. In: Cross SS, ed. Underwood's Pathology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 20.

Boone TB, Stewart JN, Martinez LM. Additional therapies for storage and emptying failure. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 127.

Capogrosso P, Salonia A, Montorsi F. Evaluation and nonsurgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 145.

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Review Date: 4/26/2020  

Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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