The prostate, a gland about the size of a walnut, is situated between the bladder and the penis. It encircles the urethra, which serves as the passage for both urine and semen.
Typically, the prostate begins to enlarge after the age of 40. The cause of this enlargement, known as hyperplasia, is still unknown. However, statistics show that about half of men between 51 and 60 years old and up to 90% of men over 80 years old will develop an enlarged prostate. It's believed that all men will develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) if they live long enough.
When the prostate grows beyond its normal size, it can lead to lower urinary tract symptoms by obstructing the urinary passage. BPH affects both urinary function and overall quality of life.
The causes of varicose veins vary from person to person. The major reason for the cause of varicose veins could be due to weak or damaged valves. Some of the causes that can contribute to the risk of developing varicose veins are listed below.
- Increased frequency of urination
- Night time urination
- Frequent urination with only small amounts of urine passed
- Hesitant or interrupted urine stream
- Urine leakage or dribbling
- Urgent need to urinate
- Weak urine stream
- Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying after urination
- Occasional pain during urination
- Having to rush to the bathroom suddenly after the urge to urinate
- Sometimes complete obstruction when severe.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Limiting fluid intake before bedtime and drinking smaller amounts throughout the day
- Avoiding decongestants and antihistamine medications
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Responding promptly to the urge to urinate
- Practicing double voiding (urinating, waiting a moment, then trying again)
- Managing stress and using relaxation techniques
A simple ultrasound examination can differentiate and detect benign prostate hypertrophy.
Treatment options for BPH include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or open prostatectomy (OP), which are considered the gold standard. However, there is growing interest and research in less invasive alternatives such as prostate artery embolization (PAE), a procedure associated with less morbidity.
PAE is a minimally invasive treatment for BPH. During the procedure, a small puncture is made in the groin, and a catheter is inserted into the blood vessels near the enlarged prostate. With the guidance of imaging, microscopic beads are used to block blood flow to specific areas of the prostate, causing the gland to shrink and alleviating urinary issues. Cone beam CT is utilized to ensure precise delivery of the beads to the target vessels, minimizing non-target embolization. PAE is performed by a specialist known as an Interventional Radiologist.
Patients who undergo PAE experience an 84% cumulative success rate within the first six months, and 76.2% thereafter.
Compared to surgery, Interventional Radiology procedures like PAE offer several advantages, including no incisions, sutures, or scars. Additionally, patients have a shorter hospital stay, often just overnight, and experience faster recovery with a reduced risk of infection. Opting for the best available treatment option is a wise choice for patients dealing with BPH.
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