Enlarged prostates (referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia BPH) cause urinary frequency, urgency, passing urine more often (particularly at night), weakened stream and incomplete bladder emptying. These symptoms can have a significant impact on the quality of your life as well as cause you discomfort.
Generally as a man ages, the prostate gland slowly enlarges and may press on the urethra and cause the flow of urine to be slower and less forceful. A procedure called Prostate Embolisation is a minimally invasive procedure, which involves temporarily blocking blood flow to the arteries that supply the prostate.
When Is This Procedure Conducted?
The standard treatment for BPH is surgery, which requires general anaesthesia. However, the surgery can cause complications such as urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, impotence and retrograde ejaculation, in which semen enters into the bladder.
To avoid these unpleasant symptoms, Prostate Embolisation provides an alternative option to surgery, which can relieve your symptoms without the need for surgery.
How Does This Procedure Work?
The procedure works by reducing or stopping blood flow to the vessels that supply the central part of the prostatic tissue, thus relieving symptoms.
There are usually one or two vessels on each side (right and left), which supply the blood for the prostate. The interventional radiologist will insert a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin and guide the catheter under imaging to each prostatic artery. They will then inject micro particles (resin particles smaller than a grain of sand) into the prostatic arteries, causing the blood flow to the central tissue of the prostate to decrease or stop.
How Will I Feel After The Procedure?
You may experience some minor discomfort after the procedure and if required, painkillers will be recommenced. It is recommended that you rest for a few days. Occasionally, some patients experience feeling very tired, however this usually resolves within a week.
In minor cases, there may be slight bruising.
How Successful Is Prostate Embolisation?
Over 70% of men will gain symptomatic improvement after Prostate Embolisation, with reduction in prostate volumes and an increase in urinary flow rates. Difficulty in finding difficult or small prostate arteries may lead to technical failures in around 10% of cases. In case of failure, traditional TURP surgery may be offered.
Prostate Embolisation is a novel and promising therapy that appears safe and efficacious based on short-term follow-up. Patient satisfaction is high, and repeat intervention rates are low.
Summary of Benefits of Prostate Embolisation
- Decrease lower urinary tract symptoms
- Gain symptomatic improvement
- No surgery thereby reducing the risks of sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, impotence and retrograde ejaculation
Our supportive team is available to answer any concerns or questions you may have relating to Prostate Embolisation. Please Contact Us for more information.
You can also download the Prostate Embolisation Patient Information Fact Sheet.
Read more about our Prostate Artery Embolisation trials at Uniting Care Medical Imaging, including an interview about the trials on the ABC Radio National Health Report.