Which BPH treatment is right for me?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as “enlarged prostate,” can be a debilitating condition. In the early stages, its symptoms are the frequent need to urinate, especially at night, and/or a weak urine stream. Over time, the symptoms worsen. The growing prostate puts greater pressure on the urethra and can prevent you from fully emptying your bladder or even result in the inability to urinate.

Research shows that most men with BPH do not want to live the rest of their lives with these symptoms. At the same time, many men do not wish to have prostate surgery like TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) because in a surprisingly high number of cases, the side effects are even worse than the surgery itself!

Two new, non-surgical procedures have emerged in recent years: UroLift® and Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE). If you are exploring these options, it’s important for you to know the facts.

UroLift is a minimally invasive procedure that uses metal implants that “lift” the urethra away from the enlarged prostate. This reduces pressure on the urethra to help improve urine flow. Prostate artery embolization, also a minimally invasive procedure, uses an imaging-guided catheter to insert tiny microspheres into the artery feeding the prostate. This reduces blood flow to the gland, causing it to shrink and symptoms to improve.

Although UroLift can alleviate the symptoms of BPH, it does not address the underlying condition—the enlarged prostate. Because of this, the symptoms can return. In fact, 12% of UroLift patients will require another procedure within two years. Additionally, UroLift is not recommended for men with larger prostates (80 grams or larger) and has not been shown to improve sexual performance.

Only PAE is shown to reduce the size of the gland, alleviate symptoms and improve sexual performance for men who may be experiencing erectile dysfunction as a result of BPH. It requires no metal implants and can be used for men with prostates over 80 grams. The clinical evidence shows that PAE may offer more lasting relief over time compared with UroLift.

Dr. Jafar Golzarian of North Star Vascular & Interventional was the very first physician in the United States to perform the PAE procedure and continues to help men throughout Minnesota by treating this condition without the need for surgery. In addition to consulting with you about your options, Dr. Golzarian will work with your doctor or urologist to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

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