An Overview of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and the Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization

As men age, many develop an enlarged prostate, a common medical condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although it is not a serious health threat, BPH can cause annoying symptoms such as frequent urination, difficulty getting started, weak stream, dribbling at the end, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. If left untreated, BPH can cause serious complications like acute urinary retention, bladder damage, kidney damage, and infections. In the past, surgery was the gold standard treatment for BPH. But now, more and more patients are turning to a new, minimally invasive, safe, and effective treatment called prostate artery embolization (PAE). In this blog post, we will discuss what BPH is, how PAE works, and why it is a favorable treatment option for men suffering from BPH.

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

BPH is a non-cancerous, enlargement of the prostate gland that is common in men over the age of 50. The exact cause of the condition is not known, but it is believed to be due to the increase in levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as men age. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis. An enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra, causing a variety of urinary problems like frequent urination, difficulty starting or stopping urine flow, weak stream, dribbling at the end, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. These urinary symptoms can be quite bothersome and affect a man’s quality of life.

What is Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

PAE is a relatively new, non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment for BPH that works by blocking the blood supply to the prostate gland. During the procedure, a tiny catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin and guided through the blood vessels to the small arteries that supply blood to the prostate gland. The doctor then injects tiny particles called microspheres into these arteries, which block the blood flow to the prostate and cause it to shrink over time. PAE is usually done on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can typically go home on the same day as the procedure.

What are the Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

PAE offers several significant benefits compared to traditional surgery. Firstly, it is minimally invasive, meaning that there are no surgical incisions or cuts, and patients do not usually need general anesthesia. Secondly, it is considered a safer method of treating BPH, with a lower risk of complications like bleeding, infection, and sexual dysfunction. Thirdly, recovery time is much faster, ranging from a few days to a week, compared to a few weeks for surgery. Finally, the long-term results of PAE are encouraging, with studies showing that up to 90% of patients experience significant improvement or resolution of their urinary symptoms and that the improvement lasts for several years.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a prevalent medical condition among males over the age of 50, characterized by an enlargement of the prostate gland that can lead to a variety of urinary problems. If left untreated, BPH can cause severe complications and impact a man’s quality of life. Traditional surgery has been the go-to treatment option for BPH, but it has now been replaced by the minimally invasive and safe method of prostate artery embolization (PAE). PAE is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure that blocks the blood supply to the prostate gland, resulting in significant improvements in urinary symptoms, faster recovery, and lower risk of complications. If you or someone you know is suffering from BPH, consider PAE as an excellent treatment option and call us today to learn more. We can help!

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