Prostate Arterial Embolization Surgery; No More Swelling of the Prostate

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Prostate arterial embolization, the latest treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, involves the usage of an extremely thin catheter. The catheter is directed along the artery, all the way from the wrist towards the prostate; tiny microspheres capable of triggering embolization are then inserted. As a result, the prostate artery is blocked and the blood flow is reduced, which causes prostate tissue atrophy through ischemia, thereby achieving the reduction of prostate volume and urinary tract obstruction.

Dr. Shih-Tsung Chen, a cardiologist from Everan Hospital, Taichung City, recently performed this surgery on a 93-year-old man. As the patient had an enlarged prostate, making it impossible to insert the catheter, he was subjected to cystostomy which introduced a hole in the abdomen for catheterization. However, due to the resulting frequent infections, his family often had to accompany him to hospital for infection control. This greatly affected their quality of life.

As general prostatic surgeries had anesthesia risks and could possibly induce complications, the family had been worried that the patient could not endure the surgical process due to his high age. Later, on learning about the new surgical method, they brought him to Everan Hospital and decided to have the surgery performed on the same day. After only one day of hospitalized observation, he was discharged without a hitch the next day. After the surgery, the urinary catheter was successfully removed, enabling the patient to urinate on his own and thus freeing him from the repeated infections and hospital visits that had been troubling him for half a year.

This procedure, said Dr. Shih-Tsung Chen, only requires local anesthesia of the wrist; the surgery can be performed with the patient being awake, and the possibilities of complication occurrence are extremely low. It is highly safe, and patients are able to get out of the bed right after the surgery. Last but not least, the surgery also does not affect sexual functions.

He pointed out that about 40% of men over the age of 50 have developed benign prostatic hyperplasia, which increases to more than 70% for men over the age of 70. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often leads to urinary tract obstruction and renders patients susceptible to infection. If not properly treated at initial stages, it may also cause the development of health problems such as bladder stones and hydronephrosis; hence, it is advised that medical treatments should be sought for as early as possible.

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