Home Forums Other Specialities Nephrology/Urology Prostate therapy without surgery

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    Anonymous
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    Half of all men over 50 suffer from an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate presses on the bladder, while also blocking the urethra. Often the sufferers make repeated night-time trips to the toilet. They may end up with complete urinary obstruction requiring emergency treatment. Every year thousands of patients have surgery to remove part of it (TURP). As well as being painful and invasive, the operation can cause loss of sexual function and even incontinence. 

    Tens of thousands of men could benefit from a breakthrough prostate treatment announced this month.
    The technique uses tiny plastic beads to block the blood supply and shrink the enlarged gland. A successful trial in Portugal is being followed up in Britain, with results due back later this year.

    Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a non-surgical way of treating an enlarged and troublesome prostate by blocking off the arteries that feed the gland and making it shrink. Performed under local anaesthetic, the procedure involves injecting hundreds of 0.2mm plastic beads. It is performed by an interventional radiologist, rather than a surgeon, and is an alternative to a TURP (trans urethral resection of prostate) operation. PAE was first performed in 2009, the procedure performed predominantly in Portugal and Brazil. University Hospital Southampton in UK has been offering a PAE service from April 2012 and is the first UK centre to perform this procedure.

    Researchers expect it to largely replace surgery as the standard treatment.

    ‘Prostate artery embolisation gives men a treatment option that is less invasive than other therapies and allows them to return to their normal lives sooner.

    The Portuguese team, which will present its findings at the Society of Interventional Radiology in Washington DC, concluded the procedure is as effective as surgery and the benefits may last as long. Only two patients in the seven-year trial had clinical side effects.

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