Nodular hyperplasia (enlargement) of the prostate gland becomes increasingly common with age, and is present in 90% of men over the age of 80 years. About 50% of those affected have symptoms of bladder outflow obstruction (prostatism). If untreated, complications such as infections of the bladder and kidneys can occur. Eventually, as in this case, back pressure can result in atrophy of the filtering units of the kidney (nephrons) leading to chronic renal failure. Fortunately, the obstruction to bladder outflow is readily treatable by both medical and surgical means.