The development of a large prostate is an unavoidable element of getting older for the majority of men. This condition, known as BPH, affects as many as half the men aged 50 or older. By age 85, this percentage gets up to nearly 90%. However, when BPH is the cause, an enlarged prostate is neither life-threatening nor cancerous. Regardless, living with an enlarged prostate can be quite uncomfortable, especially when seated. It can also be inconvenient, as it can increase the frequency with which you need to urinate. It can also make it take longer to properly drain the bladder.
There are a number of treatments for this condition that all aim to reduce or eliminate swollen prostate tissues.
Urolift and Rezum vs. PAE for Treating BPH
Urolift is a non-invasive treatment option for BPH. It focuses on reducing the swelling of the prostate that impairs urine flow through the urethra. This procedure takes somewhat less than an area, and only mild sedation is required. Tiny plastic implants are inserted into the urethra to adjust the position of the enlarged prostate. These implants are left in place to keep the enlarged tissue from compressing the urethra. The urethra will no longer be blocked by the enlarged prostate, allowing urine to flow easily. There are no sexual side effects that occur with this treatment.
Rezūm Therapy is an in-office procedure that can be completed in a single appointment. The procedure takes approximately 9 seconds to complete and involves the injection of sterile water vapor into the prostate tissue. When the steam contacts the prostate, the energy stored within is released into the prostate. The amount of treatment required will be determined by your doctor and how swollen your prostate has become. Your body’s natural healing process will absorb the treated tissue, resulting in the prostate shrinking. This allows the urethra to open and eases symptoms of BPH. Relief is often experienced within two weeks of receiving treatment. It can require up to three months for the full effects to be felt.
Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a recent form of minimally invasive treatment that works to improve symptoms of BPH. It is performed in a single visit and involves the placement of plastic particles to block blood flow to the most affected portions of the prostate. It’s performed by a specialist known as an interventional radiologist (IR). Preventing the blood from reaching the affected areas of the prospect leads to it shrinking, reducing symptoms.
Which Is The Best Treatment For BPH?
While UroLift is effective, it’s only usable in cases where the prostate gland has only swollen a small degree. In cases where the median lobe is enlarged, it’s generally ineffective. Rezum can treat larger glands but is only effective in cases where the prostate is under 120mL in volume. PAE is the best approach for larger, vascular prostates. The outcomes of each procedure will vary from patient to patient. Speak to your interventional radiologist to determine which approach is best suited for your case.