Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or benign prostatic hypertrophy, is an enlargement of the prostate, a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. It is the most common disorder of the prostate gland and the most common diagnosis by urologists for males between the ages of 45 and 74. If left untreated, BPH could lead to urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, and bladder stones or incontinence.
When symptoms are mild, BPH may not require treatment. Some men, however, require immediate intervention to treat the symptoms.
There are several surgical techniques that may be used to treat an enlarged prostate. However, some men may be able to be treated with a newer, minimally-invasive technique called prostate artery embolization (PAE). A big advantage of PAE is that it can greatly reduce BPH symptoms without the side effects of traditional prostate surgery.
For this procedure, an Interventional Radiologist inserts a hollow wire into the artery in the groin and maneuvers it to the arteries that only supply the prostate. The radiologist will then inject material to slow or stop blood flow to the prostate, which can cause it to shrink or soften.
Prostate artery embolization is typically done as an outpatient procedure. However, there may be times when an overnight stay in the hospital is necessary.