Prostate Center Paris

Prostate embolization: frequently asked questions

Questions about the embolization technique

What is prostate embolization?

Prostate embolization is a non-surgical medical procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It involves the insertion of a catheter through the femoral artery, guided to the prostatic artery, where microbeads are injected to obstruct the blood vessels supplying the prostate. This reduces blood flow to the gland, reducing its size and relieving BPH symptoms such as difficulty in urinating. Prostate embolization is considered less invasive than traditional surgical treatments, with shorter recovery times and fewer side effects.

What are the advantages of prostate embolization?

Prostate embolization is a non-surgical procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Its benefits include faster recovery than traditional surgery, reduced urinary symptoms, reduced risk of bleeding and incontinence, and shorter hospital stay. This less invasive technique minimizes the complications associated with surgery, while offering effective results in relieving prostate-related urinary disorders. Prostate embolization may be an attractive alternative for patients seeking effective treatment with less impact on their quality of life.

What are the risks of prostate embolization?

Potential risks associated with prostate embolization include, in rare cases, infection, urinary retention (1 in 500 patients) due to inflammation of the prostate, or allergic reactions to embolization agents. Although results are generally positive, side effects such as temporary pelvic pain can occur. Although prostate embolization is considered safe, a thorough assessment of the benefits and risks is essential prior to the procedure.

How to choose between prostate embolization and surgery?

The choice between prostate embolization and surgery depends on a number of individual factors, such as the size of the prostate, the patient's overall health and personal preferences. Prostate embolization, which is less invasive, can offer a faster recovery with fewer side effects, and in no way affects sexual function. More traditional surgery may be recommended by your urologist, bearing in mind that it is highly invasive and can lead to retrograde ejaculation and harm your sexual health. Studies now show that both techniques have the same success rate, but one is less invasive than the other.

What is the difference between prostate embolization and radiotherapy?

Prostate embolization and radiotherapy are distinct approaches to two distinct pathologies. While embolization aims to reduce the size of the prostate and alleviate the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, radiotherapy specifically targets prostate cancer cells. The choice between the two depends on the underlying condition, BPH or cancer, and requires careful assessment of individual risks, benefits and preferences.

What is the difference between embolization and prostate surgery?

Prostate embolization and prostate surgery are two distinct approaches to treating prostate-related problems. Embolization involves blocking the blood vessels supplying the prostate, thereby reducing its volume. This method is less invasive than surgery and can be performed under local anaesthetic. In contrast, prostate surgery, such as prostatectomy, involves partial or total surgical removal of the prostate. Although more invasive, surgery may be necessary in certain severe cases. The choice between the two depends on the nature of the problem and the patient's preferences.

What is the difference between prostate embolization and cryotherapy?

Prostate embolization treats BPH, while cryotherapy treats prostate cancer. While prostate embolization aims to reduce the size of the prostate and relieve the symptoms of BPH, cryotherapy is a treatment method that actively destroys prostate cancer cells using cold. These approaches differ fundamentally, requiring careful assessment of the underlying condition to determine the most appropriate treatment.

Is prostate embolization painful?

Prostate embolization is generally well tolerated, with minimal pain. This non-surgical procedure aims to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia by reducing blood flow to the prostate gland. Patients may experience mild discomfort or a sensation of warmth during the procedure, which is performed under local anaesthetic. After embolization, some individuals report minor pain or a feeling of pressure, but these side effects are usually temporary and well controlled by painkillers. Compared with other treatment options, prostate embolization is often considered less painful, and offers potential advantages in terms of recovery.

Why didn't my urologist mention or misinform me about prostate embolization as a treatment option?

Your urologist may not have mentioned prostate embolization for a number of reasons. Firstly, embolization is an emerging technique and may not be widely known or practised by all urologists. In addition, the choice of treatment often depends on the complexity of each case and the patient's individual preferences.

Prostate embolization is a promising option for treating the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This minimally invasive procedure uses particles to block the blood vessels supplying the prostate, thereby reducing its size. Unlike other more invasive treatments, embolization offers advantages such as shorter recovery times, reduced risk of sexual complications, and can be considered in patients who are not candidates for other procedures. If embolization has not been discussed, it may be beneficial to discuss this option with your urologist to assess whether it is suitable for your particular situation.

Is prostate embolization recommended for young men?

Prostate embolization, a non-surgical procedure to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, is generally recommended for older men. However, the appropriateness of this procedure in young men depends on the severity of symptoms and individual medical assessment. Young men with significant symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia may consider embolization as an alternative to more invasive treatments. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment option based on the patient's overall health and specific needs.

Is prostate embolization recommended for all patients?

Prostate embolization is recommended for all patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. It is generally considered for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and severe symptoms such as urinary disorders.

What are the alternatives to prostate embolization?

Alternatives to prostatic embolization to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), laser vaporization, open surgery, medications such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. TURP is a common procedure involving the transurethral removal of excess prostate tissue. Laser vaporization uses a laser to destroy prostate tissue. Medication works by reducing symptoms. It's important to note that embolization remains the only technique that completely preserves your sexuality.

What are the possible side effects of prostate embolization?

Prostate embolization, used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, can cause side effects such as temporary pelvic pain, transient urinary disorders, blood flow in urine or semen, and allergic reactions to the imaging agents used. Rarer complications include infection or vascular problems. However, most side effects are temporary and disappear fairly quickly.

When should prostate embolization be considered as a treatment option?

Prostate embolization should be considered as a treatment option for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) presenting moderate to severe symptoms, particularly if they do not respond to drug treatments or prefer to avoid surgery. This non-invasive procedure uses particles to obstruct the arteries feeding the prostate, thereby reducing the size of the gland and improving urinary symptoms. It can be an effective alternative to traditional surgery, offering benefits such as faster recovery and fewer side effects.

Is prostate embolization covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for prostate embolization depends on each individual's specific contract. Some health insurance plans may include this procedure as an integral part of coverage, while others may consider it an optional medical intervention, entailing additional costs. It is essential to check the details of the insurance policy, contact the insurance company and, if necessary, request prior authorization to determine specific coverage. Information concerning medical coverage may vary, and it is advisable to contact the insurer directly for precise information.

Can prostate hypertrophy be visualized by ultrasound?

Yes, prostate hypertrophy can be visualized by ultrasound, offering a non-invasive and accurate means of monitoring the progress of the pathology.

What is prostate embolization, and how can it positively impact patients suffering from symptoms related to prostate adenoma?

Prostate embolization is an innovative non-surgical procedure in the field of urology, aimed at treating the symptoms associated with prostate adenoma. Rather than opting for traditional surgery, this method uses a probe inserted endoscopically, eliminating the need for a rectal incision or major surgery.

Prostate embolization aims to reduce the volume of the prostate, thereby relieving urinary tract obstruction and alleviating urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections. This approach can also help preserve erectile function, a crucial aspect of patients' quality of life.

What's more, prostate embolization offers a less invasive alternative and a lower risk of complications than traditional medical treatments, while reducing the risk of progression to prostate cancer. Patients can thus benefit from significant symptomatic improvement without the risks associated with traditional surgical procedures.

Understanding the prostate organ

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a small gland located below the bladder in men, playing a key role in the reproductive system. It produces part of the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the channel through which urine and semen leave the body. Its proper functioning is essential to male sexual health. However, problems such as prostatic hypertrophy or cancer can affect the prostate, leading to urinary symptoms or more serious complications. Regular check-ups and medical surveillance are recommended for prostate health.

How does the prostate work?

The prostate, a small gland of the male reproductive system, surrounds the urethra and secretes an alkaline liquid that makes up part of the sperm. It plays a key role in reproduction, helping to nourish and protect sperm. The prostate is influenced by hormones, notably testosterone, and can increase in size with age, sometimes leading to problems such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Essential functions, such as controlling urine flow, are also linked to the prostate. Abnormalities of this gland can affect men's health, sometimes requiring medical intervention.

What are the symptoms of prostate enlargement?

Symptoms of prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), include an increase in urinary frequency, difficulty starting and maintaining urine flow, a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, frequent urges to urinate at night, and a decrease in the strength of the urine stream. Some men may also experience pain or discomfort during ejaculation. Although these symptoms are not necessarily linked to cancer, they can affect quality of life. Consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

Prostate embolization and sexual function

Does prostate embolization affect fertility?

Studies on the specific impact of prostatic embolization on fertility are limited, but this procedure in no way affects reproductive capacity or sexual function. It is advisable to discuss fertility concerns with a healthcare professional before deciding on treatment. Individual factors, such as overall health, can also influence fertility, and a full medical assessment is essential for informed decision-making.

Does prostate embolization affect libido?

In general, the impact of prostatic embolization on libido is quite positive compared to a person with BPH symptoms. Studies suggest that most men see little or no change in their sexual function after the procedure. By preserving the nerves and blood vessels essential to erectile function, prostate embolization minimizes impairment of libido. It is crucial to discuss any concerns with the doctor for a thorough understanding of individual implications. Open communication promotes informed decision-making regarding treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Can prostate embolization affect retrograde ejaculation and male sexual function?

Prostate embolization does not affect sexual function and therefore there is no retrograde ejaculation, unlike with surgery (RTUP).

Retrograde ejaculation, often associated with certain treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a legitimate concern. However, prostate embolization is different in that it often preserves normal ejaculatory function. This procedure specifically targets the blood vessels supplying the prostate to reduce its size, without significantly interfering with surrounding structures.

Many patients who underwent prostate embolization reported an improvement in their sexual quality of life.This underlines the positive advantage of this technique over other BPH treatment options. It is recommended that specific concerns be discussed with the urologist or medical team for further evaluation of the impact on individual sexual function.

How does prostate embolization affect erectile function?

L'prostatic embolization does not affect erectile function. By preserving crucial nerves and blood vessels, the procedure limits impairment of erectile function. However, individual variations may occur. An open discussion with the doctor before the procedure helps to understand expectations and take appropriate measures to maintain sexual health.

What are the benefits of prostate embolization on sexual health compared to other BPH treatments?

Prostate embolization offers the significant advantage of treating BPH symptoms while minimizing the risk of erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation, making it an attractive option for those seeking to preserve their sexual health while treating their prostate condition.

How does prostate embolization influence patients' quality of sexual life after the procedure?

Encouragingly, numerous studies have shown that theprostate embolization improves patients' quality of sexual life. By reducing BPH symptoms without compromising erectile function, this procedure makes a positive contribution to the overall sexual experience of treated men.

Does prostate embolization cause sexual side effects such as erectile dysfunction?

Unlike some traditional treatments for BPH, prostate embolization is associated with a lower risk of erectile dysfunction. Results often indicate preservation or even improvement of sexual function in patients, underlining the positive benefits of this procedure.

Prostate embolization and urinary function

How can prostate embolization influence urinary function?

By reducing the size of the prostate, prostate embolization has a positive impact on urinary function. By treating symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), such as difficulty in urinating, it significantly improves quality of life by promoting better urine flow.

What benefits does prostate embolization offer in terms of urinary symptoms?

L'prostatic embolization offers major benefits by improving urinary symptoms associated with BPHIt acts by reducing pressure on the urethra, thus promoting more efficient urinary function. It acts by reducing pressure on the urethra, promoting more efficient urinary function.

Does prostate embolization adversely affect urinary continence?

No, theprostatic embolization does not adversely affect urinary continence because it is designed to specifically target the prostate, thus preserving the structures responsible for urinary continence. As a minimally invasive procedure, it limits the risk of continence-related complications.

How can prostatic embolization help reduce nocturnal micturition disorders?

By reducing the size of the prostate and improving urinary flow, prostatic embolization can help reduce nocturnal voiding disorders, such as frequent waking to urinate. This can significantly improve the patient's sleep and overall quality of life.

Are there any specific benefits of prostatic embolization for people with problems of incomplete bladder emptying?

Yes, prostate embolization can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from incomplete bladder emptying by treating the underlying BPH. By reducing the size of the prostate, it promotes more complete emptying of the bladder, thereby reducing the frequency of micturition and improving urinary quality of life.

Does prostate embolization increase the risk of urinary tract infection?

No, generally speaking, prostate embolization does not significantly increase the risk of urinary tract infection. Unlike some more invasive surgical procedures, embolization is a less traumatic technique for surrounding tissue. 

It specifically targets the blood vessels supplying the prostate, enabling its size to be reduced without the need for major surgery. This approach minimizes the risk of infection and promotes faster recovery, a positive advantage of prostate embolization over other more invasive treatments. However, each case is unique, and it is always advisable to discuss potential risks with the medical team.

Prostate embolization and quality of life

What is the recovery time after prostate embolization?

Recovery time after prostatic embolization can vary from one individual to another, but generally patients can return to their normal activities within a few days. Symptoms such as pelvic pain, urinary disorders and bleeding may gradually diminish over the weeks following the procedure. It is essential to follow the doctor's advice regarding rest, physical activity and prescribed medication to optimize recovery. Regular follow-ups with the healthcare professional are also recommended to assess progress and resolve any potential problems.

How does prostate embolization affect quality of life?

Prostate embolization is a medical procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. It involves blocking the arteries supplying the prostate, thereby reducing its size. This alternative method to traditional surgery often offers a faster recovery and fewer side effects. Patients generally report an improvement in urinary symptoms, such as frequency and difficulty in urinating. By reducing pressure on the urethra, prostate embolization can significantly improve quality of life by relieving urinary disorders associated with prostatic hyperplasia, while minimizing the risks associated with surgery.

What are the long-term results of prostatic embolization?

The results of prostate embolization are long-lasting, offering long-term relief of BPH symptoms and improving patients' quality of life. Prostate embolization, a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, is showing promising long-term results. Studies suggest a significant improvement in urinary symptoms and a reduction in prostate size. Benefits include a reduced risk of bleeding and complications compared to other procedures. Patients report improved quality of life and erectile function. However, long-term research is needed to confirm the long-term efficacy and safety of this emerging procedure. Regular medical follow-up is recommended to assess the persistence of benefits.

Can prostate embolization be repeated if necessary?

Yes, prostate embolization can be repeated if necessary. Although this procedure is generally effective in treating the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), situations such as further prostate growth or a return of symptoms may necessitate repeat embolization. The decision to repeat the procedure will depend on the patient's clinical assessment by his or her physician, taking into account factors such as prostate size, severity of symptoms and previous response to embolization.

Have patients who have undergone prostate embolization experienced a recurrence of their symptoms?

There is a risk of recurrence of symptoms after the procedure. However, it is important to note that the risk of recurrence can be minimized by choosing an experienced and competent interventional radiologist.

The success of prostatic artery embolization depends largely on the skill and experience of the interventional radiologist. A good radiologist will be able to select suitable candidates for this procedure, perform the procedure with precision to minimize the chances of recurrence, and effectively manage any potential side effects.

What happens after prostate embolization?

Post-embolization follow-up is essential to assess long-term efficacy. Regular consultations enable the doctor to monitor the reduction in urinary symptoms, check for any signs of complications and adjust if necessary. Imaging studies can be carried out to assess the reduction in prostate size. Patients can also discuss their general quality of life and any changes in their physical and emotional well-being.

What is the recommended diet after prostate embolization?

After prostate embolization, it is generally recommended to follow a balanced and healthy diet. Although specific needs may vary according to the health professional's individual recommendations, it is often advisable to favor a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.

Hydration is also crucial to promote recovery. It is essential to discuss with your medical team specific dietary guidelines based on your particular health condition and post prostate embolization recommendations.

When can normal activities be resumed after prostate embolization?

Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a few days of prostatic embolization. However, full recovery may vary from one individual to another. It is advisable to follow the doctor's advice regarding the level of physical activity, and to monitor any unusual symptoms during the recovery period.

How to prepare for and recover from prostate embolization?

Preparation for prostatic embolization often involves fasting before the procedure. After the procedure, recovery is generally at home. Patients may experience mild discomfort or pain for a few days, managed by prescribed medication. Rest is recommended, with a gradual return to normal activities. Urinary symptoms often begin to improve rapidly, but careful monitoring and medical follow-up are essential to ensure full recovery.