New prostate procedure available
Published on 26 April 2012 02:00 PM
A new non-surgical technique to help treat enlarged prostates is on offer in the UK for the first time.
Prostate artery embolisation (PAE), used by doctors at Southampton General Hospital, could provide relief to thousands of older men across the UK as 60% of men aged 60 and over are affected by enlarged prostates.
The procedure involves a small plastic catheter being inserted in the groin to place minuscule particles into prostate arteries to cut the blood supply and shrink the gland.
People with enlarged bladders often have difficulty urinating and have to go to the toilet more frequently than others but are unable to empty their bladder.
Traditionally, invasive surgery could be required if medication and lifestyle changes do not help to reduce the size of the patient's bladder, but this new procedure might negate the need to go under the knife.
Dr Nigel Hacking, who along with Dr Tim Bryant are the first doctors in the UK to carry out this treatment, said: 'Most men are likely to suffer the consequences of an enlarged prostate later in life and it is a particularly uncomfortable and unpleasant condition which can seriously damage quality of life
'As lifestyle changes such as reduced fluid intake and medication are often unsuccessful, thousands of men around the UK have to undergo surgery to relieve their symptoms, often resulting in longer recovery periods and side effects.
'This technique allows us to halt symptoms non-surgically through just a one to two-hour procedure under local anaesthetic which sees the patient home within four to six hours - it is a major milestone.'
Copyright Press Association 2012