December 8, 2022

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Prostate artery embolization (PAE), a novel therapeutic option for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, is now available at UC San Diego Health. The minimally invasive technique is a non-surgical alternative to surgery that requires no hospitalization, has less operational discomfort, and is less expensive.

As men become older, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), often known as prostate gland enlargement, becomes more frequent. A prostate gland that is enlarged can generate painful urinary symptoms including preventing the urine from leaving the bladder. It can also create inhibitions within the bladder, urinary system, or kidneys.

“For some years, PAE has been accessible in Europe as a therapy option for an enlarged prostate,” said Andrew Picel, MD, a UC San Diego Health interventional radiologist. “With the FDA’s recent authorization of this therapy as an alternative to surgery, we are excited to make it available as an option to good candidates who are patients .”

Interventional radiologists use X-ray guidance to place a tiny catheter into an artery in the upper thigh or wrist. After that, the catheter is put into the arteries that supply the prostate. Small particles are inserted into the prostate to partially obstruct blood flow. This decreases prostate size and alleviates BPH symptoms.

Picel and his colleagues have used the new treatment on around 20 individuals.

“With the patients we’ve treated so far, we’ve seen fantastic results,” said Alexander Norbash, MD, chair of Radiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “The advantages of PAE allow patients to heal at home and return to daily activities more rapidly.” “As early as the first week after therapy, symptoms may begin to improve.”

There are other surgical treatments, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which is regarded the gold standard for BPH therapy. TURP, on the other hand, necessitates general anesthesia, an overnight stay in the hospital, and three to six weeks of recuperation time, as well as sexual side effects.

Prostate enlargement affects at least half of males over the age of 60. Urge to pee frequently, especially at night; urine leakage or dribbling; a weak urine stream; and difficulty starting urination are all symptoms. If left untreated, BPH can lead to infections in the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract.

Patients are screened for PAE by interventional radiologists and urologists at UC San Diego Health. Candidates are typically 50 to 85 years old, have urinary tract problems, have taken drugs unsuccessfully in the last six months, and have had their prostate cancer risk assessed. Patients must be aware of all treatment alternatives in order to make an educated decision and seek the treatment that is appropriate for their specific medical condition.

“It’s fantastic that patients now have a minimally invasive option to surgery for this frequent health issue,” Picel remarked. ” Because the teamwork existing between urology and interventional radiology, we are recording tremendous results and success treating PAE patients.”

UC San Diego Health began a PAE clinical study in March 2017, making it one of the first medical facilities in California to do so. Men who fit the requirements can still participate in the clinical experiment at UC San Diego Health.

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