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Promising, New Enlarged-Prostate Treatment

Reducing blood flow to an enlarged prostate shrinks the gland, suggests study.

Early results from the nation’s first, prospective trial of prostate artery embolization (PAE) indicate that the non-surgical treatment can shrink an enlarged prostate by reducing blood flow to the gland.

As a man approaches the half-century mark, his prostate grows. As it grows, the prostate squeezes the urethra thereby blocking normal urine flow. This causes a variety of symptoms, from frequent urination to a weak stream.

To date, 92 percent of the men who had PAE in the study noticed a significant decrease in enlarged prostate symptoms in just one month. None suffered any major complications and most went home the same day of treatment.

Shrinking the gland is like turning the clock, says Dr. Sandeep Bagla, the lead author of an ongoing study about PAE. Men can have the prostates of their youth, he says. Bagla is an interventional radiologist at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, VA. He discussed the study at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 38th annual scientific meeting in New Orleans recently.

Another study about PAE presented at the 28th annual congress of the European Association of Urology found the embolization technique to be a safe, outpatient procedure for men with an enlarged prostate.

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