Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—also known as an enlarged prostate gland—is common as men age. It affects half of all men between 51 and 60 years of age and up to 90% of men older than 80. Symptoms include a frequent or urgent need to urinate and an increased need to urinate at night. BPH is also linked to erectile dysfunction and reduced sex drive.

PAE Treatment in Michigan

The prostate gland is located right beneath the bladder. As it grows, it pushes against the urethra and can block urine flow. Most men with BPH are unhappy with the condition and do not wish to live the rest of their lives with its symptoms. Left untreated, BPH can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder damage, bladder stones, kidney damage (or chronic renal failure) and urinary retention (the inability to urinate).

Some men with severe BPH symptoms are treated with a surgical procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Unfortunately, side effects are common with TURP procedures and include infection, sexual dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation. This procedure also requires anesthesia.

At Precision IR, we offer an alternative, more precise treatment for BPH:

Prostate Artery Embolization

Prostate artery embolization (PAE), is a new and less invasive treatment option for men with severe BPH symptoms. This convenient outpatient procedure may alleviate BPH symptoms for most men without the need for surgery.

PAE is performed by an interventional radiologist who, using imaging guidance, inserts a tiny catheter into an artery in the patient’s upper thigh or wrist, and then guides it through the body’s blood vessels to the arteries supplying blood to the prostate. Tiny beads called ‘microspheres’ are released through the catheter and into the arteries, blocking blood flow to the prostate. With reduced blood flow, the prostate shrinks and symptoms are relieved.

If the symptoms of BPH are keeping you from living your best life, visit our contact page or call us at 947-228-5500 to schedule a consultation. We’ll work with all members of your care team to find the treatment that is right for you.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the noncancerous growth of prostate tissue, resulting in enlargement of the prostate gland. By the time a man reaches 50 years of age, the prostate has already begun to grow. For many men, this does not cause any issues; however, up to half of men in their 50s and 90% of men in their 80s do have symptoms as a result of this growth.

For patients with mild symptoms, lifestyle modifications are all that a man typically needs to do, such as limiting fluid intake before bed or before a long car trip. However, if a man has moderate to severe symptoms, oral medications are typically the first line. There are various medications that can be used to treat the different symptoms associated with BPH and can be ordered by your primary care doctor or a urologist.

If a patient fails medical management, has symptoms that progress while on medications, or develops a reason they can no longer tolerate the existing medications, surgery is then often considered. There are several invasive options that a urologist can offer, depending on the size of the prostate gland and other factors. In general, the aim of surgery is to remove prostate tissue to relieve the obstruction but therefore does carry the risk of postoperative bleeding and damage to the nerves around the prostate gland, potentially affecting sexual function.

Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive technique to treat the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia without the increased risks of invasive surgery.

A typical prostate artery embolization patient is an active man over the age of 50 with symptoms that interfere with their everyday life.

Prostate artery embolization should be considered for those patients who can no longer tolerate medical management, those patients who have failed medical management, those patients who are considered poor surgical candidates, or those who wish to avoid invasive surgery. It also offers a definitive treatment option for multiple underserved patient groups, who may have previously not had satisfactory urologic options available. Examples of these groups include elderly patients with multiple comorbidities, patients with very large prostate glands, patients with indwelling urinary catheters, and those patients who wish to preserve sexual function.

The doctors at Precision IR work closely with all referring providers and will keep your urologist, or primary care provider, informed and included throughout the entire process.

As with all procedures, there are risks associated with PAE. The only external sign that a patient has undergone treatment will be a small incision mark on their wrist or their groin. Minor side effects are short-lived and resolve on their own, and can include difficult or painful urination, pelvic pain, blood in the urine, blood in the stool or diarrhea.

Transurethral resection of prostate, or TURP, is the standard treatment for BPH symptoms against which all other treatments are compared. TURP is performed by a urologist under general anesthesia in which they remove prostate tissue from within the urethra. Many randomized control trials have shown that TURP is associated with increased risks of bleeding, the requirement for in-patient hospitalization, and the increased rate of bladder catheterization when compared to prostate artery embolization.

The recovery from prostate artery embolization is very fast. Patients are instructed to avoid strenuous activity for three days after the procedure, and most resume normal activities within one week.

Our experience with prostate artery embolization has been very good. Patients can begin to see improvement within the first week and continue to feel better for up to three months. Many studies have shown similar patient satisfaction results five years after the procedure when compared to the standard TURP surgical procedure.

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