Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is an abnormal enlargement of the prostate gland. While most men will maintain a certain rate of prostate growth throughout their lifetime, BPH is indicated by an unhealthy increase in growth and subsequent related complications.
Those most at risk for BPH are men over the age of 40. Nearly ⅓ of sufferers will experience significant symptoms by the age of 60, with rates increasing to ½ of all patients by the age of 80. BPH is more common in men with a family history of prostate problems, as well as a history of diabetes and heart disease. Obesity can also be a contributing factor to the development of BPH.
One of the first and most noticeable symptoms a patient with BPH will experience is issues with urination. The frequent or urgent need to urinate and increased frequency of night time urination are both common symptoms. Difficulty starting, a weak stream, and inability completely empty the bladder can also affect those suffering from BPH.
If symptoms are ignored and this condition progresses, more significant complications can occur. Bladder stones can result from an inability to empty the bladder, and contribute to blood in the urine and bladder infections. Urinary tract infections can also occur as a result of not fully emptying one’s bladder. If the prostate grows large enough, it can even cause an inability to urinate all together, known as urinary retention.
Prostate artery embolization, or PAE, is a minimally invasive procedure designed to help relieve the symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is done by blocking the blood vessels that are causing the prostate to abnormally swell. Once these blood vessels are blocked, the prostate can return to a healthier size, and the patient will experience significant symptom relief.
The treatment is performed by a specialist known as an interventional radiologist. First, the doctor will inject a dye that allows them to map out the pathways of a patient’s blood vessels. Then, they will make a small cut near the skin of the patient’s wrist or groin. From there, they will insert a thin catheter into their artery, and guide it towards the prostate.
Once the prostate has been reached, small microspheres are fed through the catheter into the blood vessels supplying the prostate to block the gland’s blood supply Once one side of the supply veins are blocked, the doctor will move to the other and stop that blood supply as well.
The prostate will begin to shrink almost immediately, and the doctor will retract the catheter to conclude the procedure. After a few days, the prostate gland should return to a healthy size, relieving the symptoms of BPH.
PAE is best suited for patients who have prostates with a volume of less than 80 grams, and don’t wish to experience more invasive procedures to reduce their BPH symptoms. These invasive procedures generally involve major surgery, and the associated risks that it carries.
These major surgeries include transurethral resection of the prostate, a procedure for prostate’s less than 100 grams. This involves a patient undergoing general anesthesia, and having a section of their prostate cutaway. For patients with prostates larger than 100 grams, a prostatectomy would be their only surgical option. This involves the full removal of the prostate.
PAE can help remedy benign prostatic hyperplasia before it reaches the point where surgery is required. Recovery is much more rapid with PAE compared to surgical options. You are not required to stay overnight, and will leave the same day to recover in the comfort of your own home.
PAE is also minimally invasive, and does not require a large incision or general anesthetic. The patient is sedated but conscious, therefore avoiding the risks that accompany the use of a general anesthesia. Because the procedure is not a major surgery, it also carries a smaller risk of infection.
Now that you know what PAE is, it’s important to select the best facility to undergo your procedure. It’s important to choose well trained specialists, who utilize only the best in state-of-the-art medical equipment.
If you want a team that specializes in vascular treatments, your best option is ProVas Labs.
At ProVas Labs, patients are our priority. We take the time to walk you through every step of your treatment, and make sure you are 100% comfortable during your stay. Our trained specialists know prostate artery embolization inside and out, and will perform your procedure with the utmost care and precision.
Major surgery is not your only option. If you don’t wish to have a prostatectomy, PAE can offer you relief from the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia without the risk and discomfort of invasive procedures. We understand you have questions, and our trained professionals have answers. Simply schedule a consultation today!
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