NHS recommends prostate artery embolization


A new treatment for non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, a very common condition in older men, has been recommended by the NHS.


Prostatic artery embolization: this blocks part of the blood supply to the prostate with tiny synthetic beads, causing the problematic tissue to shrink and die.
Officials say there's good evidence that non-invasive treatment works. And it can spare men surgery and side effects, such as impotence.

An enlarged prostate


More than a third of men over 50 have an enlarged prostate, which can make it harder to urinate.
Medication or surgery can help, but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence believes that men should now be offered another treatment option.
EAP (prostatic artery embolization) can be performed under local anaesthetic, which means that patients can go home shortly afterwards without having to be hospitalized, unlike conventional prostate surgery.
Doctors pass a small tube through an artery in the groin, which can be guided into the small blood vessels of the prostate. 

Prostate treatment in the UK


In the UK, some 20 centers already offer prostate embolization treatment.
Dr Nigel Hacking, interventional radiologist and consultant at University Hospital Southampton, said: "It is a particularly attractive option for men who are not yet ready to undergo more invasive prostate surgery. Maintaining sexual function and fertility is one of its key benefits."