Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology based out of Fresno, CA
Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is a disorder that causes your prostate gland to get larger, which puts pressure on your urethra. If you're experiencing urinary problems that are typical symptoms of BPH, the board-certified interventional radiologists at ForeFront Radiology in Fresno, California, can help. They use cutting-edge approaches like prostate artery embolization to reduce the size of your prostate and relieve your symptoms. Call ForeFront Radiology to find out more or book an appointment online today.
Prostate Artery Embolization Q & A
What is prostate artery embolization?
Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure the ForeFront Radiology team uses to reduce blood flow to your prostate.
The prostate is a gland that sits under your bladder, surrounding your urethra. Your prostate creates a fluid that mixes with sperm to produce semen when you ejaculate.
Prostate artery embolization shrinks or softens an enlarged prostate by blocking the arteries that feed your prostate gland. It's a new, cutting-edge method, and ForeFront Radiology is the only practice in the Central Valley performing prostate artery embolization.
Why might I need prostate artery embolization?
Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive alternative to surgical treatments for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH is a noncancerous disorder in which your prostate becomes enlarged. As it increases in size, it squeezes your urethra, which you use to pass urine as well as ejaculate. As a result, you might start to experience urinary symptoms such as:
- Slow stream
- Increased frequency
- Urinary urgency
- Incomplete emptying of your bladder
- Intermittent flow or dribbling
BPH is a common condition that tends to develop after the age of 45. Around 50% of men in their 60s have BPH symptoms, a figure that rises to 90% for men 70 and over.
How is BPH treated?
Treatments for BPH typically begin with medication. Drugs reduce levels of the hormone DHT that can cause BPH, and improve urine flow by relaxing the muscles in your prostate and the neck of your bladder.
If medication isn't sufficient to control your symptoms, you might need surgery. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the most common surgical approach for BPH; your surgeon cuts away excess tissue using an instrument they insert into your urethra.
There are also laser and microwave versions of TURP, as well as transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP), transurethral needle ablation (TUNA), and other potential treatments.
Prostate artery embolization is one of the newest approaches, and one the ForeFront Radiology team specializes in. It presents a lower risk of urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction than invasive surgical procedures like TURP.
What happens during a prostate artery embolization?
To perform prostate artery embolization, your ForeFront Radiology provider might start by inserting a Foley catheter into your urethra. This catheter is a thin tube that has a balloon at one end, which is positioned by your bladder to act as a reference point.
The next step is to insert another small catheter into an artery in your groin or wrist. From there, your provider guides the catheter into the arteries supplying blood to your prostate.
They use an arteriogram (a type of X-ray that involves an injection of dye to highlight your blood vessels) to identify the arteries going to your prostate. They then inject tiny round particles called microspheres through the catheter and into the arteries.
Once they've done one side of your prostate, your provider performs the same procedure on the other side. Within a few days, your BPH symptoms should improve as your prostate shrinks.
To find out more about prostate artery embolization, call ForeFront Radiology today or book an appointment online.