Innovative New Treatment for Enlarged Prostates

By David Bryan, MD

As a Urologist, I see patients daily who struggle with the side effects of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Persistent urinary urges or concerns about leaving behind wet marks lead to frequent bathroom trips, which can cause anxiety in social situations. Over time, these instances start taking a toll on their mental health and overall quality of life, as my patients frequently wake up during the night to urinate, excuse themselves from conversations, and avoid traveling. Although 50 to 60 percent of men with BPH may never develop any symptoms, others find that BPH can make life miserable.

If you’re living with these symptoms, relief and returning to your life can’t come soon enough. As a leader in comprehensive urologic care, I am proud to inform you that we offer a new minimally invasive treatment option for the treatment of enlarged prostate in our new, office-based, outpatient Interventional Radiology suite in the Walker Medical Building. Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

The PAE procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist (IR), a doctor who uses X-rays and other advanced imaging to see inside the body and treat conditions without surgery. This new and innovative treatment always brings questions; keep reading to understand BPH and PAE’s who, what, where, and why.

Who is at risk for BPH?

As many as 14 million men in the United States have symptoms of BPH. BPH is a common condition that affects most men starting at age 40. By age 60, 50% of men will have some signs of BPH.

What symptoms will I experience if I have undiagnosed BPH?

  • A weak or slow urinary stream
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Feeling that you’re unable to empty your bladder

I suggest taking this quiz if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) questionnaire was developed to measure the severity of your BPH symptoms. Your score is not meant to provide medical advice or replace your doctor’s expert opinion and care. Only your doctor can diagnose whether you have BPH and assess your condition.

Why should I consider PAE for treatment?

Traditional surgery isn’t a viable option for some of our patients with enlarged prostates, and our new clinic will be a tremendous benefit for them. PAE is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure using twilight sleep instead of general anesthesia, requiring less recovery than surgery. It also has lower risks of potential sexual or urinary side effects. The procedure is painless and only lasts one hour.

We’re excited about the results we’re seeing while ensuring the quality of care that our patients expect at USL. Our patients report symptom improvement approximately two to three weeks after the procedure and return to regular activity within one week. It is considered extremely effective and is 80-90% effective at reducing the swelling associated with enlarged prostates.

We offer other treatments which remove the part of the prostate that blocks the urinary pathway. You can learn more about alternative options here.

Why choose USL?

Our goal at USL is to provide high-quality care options for our patients in a convenient setting, and this new clinic is a perfect example of that mission. This treatment will help people who feel like they can’t attend their kids’ soccer games or go to the family party because they have an enlarged prostate and constantly need to run to the bathroom.

It isn’t widely available throughout St. Louis yet, so it’s exciting to be able to offer this as part of our comprehensive approach to providing quality care for our patients. The new clinic recently opened inside the Walker Medical Building, 12855 North Forty Dr. South Tower, St. Louis, MO, Suite 325. For more information about the new clinic, click here or call 314-720-8231.

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