Less invasive prostate treatment may reduce side effects

5th April 2011

Experts are at loggerheads over the development of a new minimally invasive prostate treatment, after some claimed it was effective without the debilitating side-effects of surgery.

Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) limits blood supply to the prostate, has had the same effect as surgery in trials, but avoids unpleasant side-effects such as blood loss and retrograde ejaculation, which come with surgery, according to a preliminary study which was revealed at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Supporters also suggested it would be more widely available for sufferers, as there were no size limitations. Only the worst ten per cent of all patients, whose prostates are enlarged to between 60 and 80 cubic centimetres, are eligible for surgery.

Improvements were seen in all patients undergoing the procedure, even when they were reviewed later on, but no great improvement was seen in the ability to urinate. Patients who underwent surgery saw much better results here.

Dr Franklin Lowe, associate director of urology at St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, said PAE was "unlikely" to be used much to treat enlarged prostates because of this.

 Posted by Edward Bartel

1.Pisco, Joao Martins MD et al. "Prostatic Artery Embolization to Treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - Short- and Medium-Term Outcomes." Abstract and news release, Society of Interventional Radiology. March 29 2011.


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