These tiny little particles are smaller than grains of sand, but in a new procedure now being offered at Lee Health, these tiny particles are what doctors are using to help men who are living with BPH. “Prostate artery embolization is a new minimally invasive treatment option for benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. This is a condition that affects men as they get older. The prostate enlarges and causes compression on the urethra and makes it harder to urinate,” said Dr. David Johnson, an interventional radiologist with Lee Health.
Most men will develop prostate enlargement by the age of 60. Symptoms can include urinary frequency and urgency, needing to get up at night to go to the bathroom, and difficulty emptying the bladder. “The studies have shown that about 70 to 80 percent respond to prostate artery embolization,” said Dr. Johnson.
The minimally invasive procedure uses tiny instruments to block the blood flow to the prostate. “This involves taking a small catheter, a small little tube, that goes into the arteries that supply the prostate and injecting small little particles into them. Those particles block the blood flow to the prostate,” he said.
Once the blood flow is blocked, the prostate will shrink over time. Patients typically feel the results a few weeks after the procedure. “Prostate artery embolization is a good option because it’s minimally invasive. It can be performed before considering surgical treatment. The procedure is done with intravenous sedation medication; we also give numbing medicine for the skin,” explained Dr. Johnson.
Patients are awake during the two hours, one-time procedure—and can go home that same day—a minimally invasive option that helps restore the quality of life to men living with BPH.
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