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The clinical syndrome of benign prostatic hyperplasia reflects a complex interplay between benign prostatic enlargement, which will affect almost all men by the age of 80, and the resulting outlet obstruction and lower urinary tract symptoms. The disease is now known to adversely affect the quality of life of around one man in three over the age of 50. New medical treatments and new surgical interventions are challenging the previous standard treatment of transurethral resection of prostate, which continues to have a morbidity of 17% and some mortality. Primary care will be increasingly involved in shared care with particular emphasis on monitoring of patients on watchful waiting medical therapy- and following operative intervention.