Should Men with BPH Choose Prostate Artery Embolization or UroLift®?

If you are suffering from an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, you may be experiencing symptoms like frequent urination, difficulty urinating, a weak urine stream and the inability to fully empty the bladder. Most men with this condition will find that the symptoms only get worse with time. They may also be receiving conflicting recommendations from family, friends and doctors.

Fortunately, most men with BPH no longer have to undergo surgery to alleviate this condition. While surgeries like transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and prostatectomy are still common, there are now less invasive, clinically proven options to treat BPH.

One such treatment is called UroLift®. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses permanent implants to lift the enlarged prostate away from the urethra. This has the effect of reducing pressure on the urethra and improving urine flow. While UroLift is shown to alleviate the symptoms of BPH, it does not address the underlying condition of the enlarged prostate. As a result, symptoms can return. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 12% of UroLift patients will require another procedure within two years.

UroLift is also not advised for men with larger prostates (> 80 grams). Additionally, the side effects associated with the procedure (infection, bleeding, pain) may be problematic for older men with other health problems. Finally, while UroLift will not cause erectile dysfunction, it has not been shown to improve sexual performance either.

Comparatively, the prostate artery embolization (PAE) procedure effectively reduces the size of the prostate gland. Symptoms are alleviated, and the procedure can work with patients with larger prostates. Complications are extremely rare, and clinical evidence suggests that PAE may offer more lasting relief over time. Also, by reducing the size of the gland, only PAE has been shown to improve sexual function.

The good news is that you now have non-surgical choices. We invite you to learn the facts about PAE so that you can make the best decision for your unique situation.

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