PROSTATE EMBOLIZATION, WHAT IS IT?
It is a minimally invasive treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with proven safety and efficacy. As the prostate gland grows, it can slow or block the flow of urine from the bladder. This causes symptoms of the lower urinary tract such as: frequent urination (especially at night), urgency to urinate, poor urine flow, incomplete emptying of the bladder.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED ?
It is a procedure that is performed with local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. It is important to previously have an angiographic study to evaluate the arterial system of each patient. An X-ray equipment is used, where the Interventional Radiologist “navigates” the arterial system. to the prostate arteries. The closure of the arteries causes a significant decrease in blood flow to the prostate, reducing its size and, therefore, making it easier for urine to escape.
Prostatic artery embolization is performed through a small puncture in the wrist or groin, locating the femoral artery in the latter and also the most frequently performed approach, inserting a catheter through the artery and advancing towards the prostate. Once the catheter is placed in the artery that supplies blood to the prostate, it is occluded or closed using very small particles, called microspheres, blocking blood circulation. Blockage of these branches is called embolization. The procedure can take between one and two hours, depending on the location and size of the prostate arteries. In most cases, patients do not feel any pain during the procedure. After prostate embolization, most patients have a great improvement in their urinary symptoms starting in the first 3-4 days after the procedure. As for patients with a urinary catheter, in 80-87% it can be removed between the first and third week after the procedure.
BENEFITS OF PROSTATE EMBOLIZATION
Among the benefits of this alternative treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia are the possibility of performing the intervention on an outpatient basis, leaving 6 hours after the procedure. Various studies have shown that the average size of the prostate is reduced by approximately 30%, which relieves the patient’s urinary symptoms, preserves erectile function and improves overall quality of life. The success of this procedure is measured by performing imaging studies that measure prostate size, ranging from a transrectal ultrasound to more specific ones such as multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging of the prostate, measurement of urinary flow and prostate antigen, as well as the international symptom score. prostate glands obtained by questioning the patient. It has been described as a procedure with a low complication rate, faster recovery, and better preservation of sexual function. However, like any medical procedure, it is not without risks and can cause some complications, although they are usually mild and temporary. Some of the most common complications are: bleeding in the urine, pain or burning when urinating, which can be relieved with pain relievers and plenty of fluids, inability to completely empty the bladder, and urinary infections. Prostatic artery embolization emerges as a safe and effective alternative for patients with large prostate volumes who are not candidates for surgery or who do not wish to undergo surgery.