Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Shrinking Your Prostate without Surgery?

  • Topic Info:While undergoing the aging process, men face an increased risk of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) affects about half of men over the age of 60. BPH results when the prostate becomes enlarged and causes many unpleasant symptoms.

    Some of the symptoms include feeling like you constantly have to go to the bathroom, trouble starting or completely stopping your urine system, dripping, waking up in the middle of the night to urinate and feeling like your bladder is not empty after you go to the bathroom.

    Getting screened regularly can help identify BPH early on.

    How is BPH treated?

    Until now, drugs and invasive surgeries were the only solutions for treatment.

    However, there is a new, non-surgical procedure called prostatic artery embolization that is being offered to patients.

    Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that is just now being evaluated in the U.S. and is actually still in the research stages. In fact, most of the facilities that are doing this procedure do so under a research protocol.

    The procedure works by putting in a catheter (a very thin tube) into the artery that feeds the prostate gland. Doctors then are able to inject tiny beads, called microspheres, in the arteries surrounding the prostate to block its blood supply. This decreases the size of the prostate and, more importantly, relieves the obstruction of urinary flow.

    Are there any side effects with this treatment?

    Many men worry about sexual dysfunction as a side effect to any medication or procedure that involve their prostate. Fortunately, the prostate artery embolization does not cause sexual dysfunction or any other problematic side effects.

    What else do you need to know about BPH and prostate artery embolization?

    Chairman of the Department of Radiology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, James B. Spies, MD, MPH, FSIR, discuss BPH, who is at risk for developing BPH and the new non-surgical treatment option available.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS