Conditions

Stopping Blood Flow More Effective Than Surgery In Treating An Enlarged Prostate

Enlarged Prostate
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For years doctors have been unsure about the specific cause of an enlarged prostate other than the fact that a man's risk of having one increases with age. Some researchers believe the fluctuation of testosterone levels could be a contributing factor.

Whatever the cause, in the past, surgery was often required in severe cases. Researchers now say there is a solution for an enlarging prostate that doesn't require surgery.

Let by Dr. Sandeep Bagla, a group of scientests published a paper arguing that an enlarged prostate can be shrunk by momentarily stopping blood flow.

The process, called prostatic artery embolization, PAE, entails a catheter going through the patients leg that pumps tiny beads into the artery, temporarily stopping blood flow to the prostate, HealthDay reported.

The team of researchers plan on treating at least 30 patients with this procedure; however, they were only able to outline the findings from 18 patients in Monday's Society of Interventional Radiology conference.

Bagla and his fellow researchers assure this solution to prostate enlargement poses a minor risk compared to more drastic approaches.

"Patients who have not been helped by surgery or laser treatments have benefited," said Bagla. "Since the treatment does not involve placing a catheter or device into the penis, there is no risk of narrowing of the urethra, incontinence or bleeding."

Other than surgery, certain medications have been known to work for patients with less severe symptoms. Alpha 1-blockers used for high blood pressure treatment can offer men a healthier urine flow. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors such as Avodart and Proscar are also used as remedies, however, both medications can take over three months to have an effect. 

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