Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, becomes increasingly common as men age. It’s estimated that half of men in their 50s have an enlarged prostate, and up to 90% of men in their 70s and 80s. As the prostate becomes enlarged, it presses on the urethra and causes bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Until recently, BPH could only be treated through the urethra in the penis, which can have an increased risk of complications including sexual dysfunction. For this reason, many men who are diagnosed with BPH refuse treatment. Fortunately, Upstate Carolina Radiology now offers a nonsurgical alternative to treat the symptoms associated with BPH.
Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)
Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat BPH, or enlarged prostates. Safe and effective, this outpatient procedure offers a shorter recovery and fewer complications than traditional surgery. It’s performed by an interventional radiologist, who uses image guidance to thread a catheter through a tiny puncture in the groin or the wrist to access blood vessels on each side of the enlarged prostate gland. The radiologist then uses small beads to block the blood flow to the prostate, which causes the prostate to shrink and relieves or improves symptoms, often within days of the procedure. And unlike surgery, PAE does not require general anesthesia or discharge home with a catheter in the bladder. Patients can return home the same day, and most report significant improvement of symptoms within days to months.