Southampton General Hospital in Southampton, UK, has become the first hospital in the country to perform a non-surgical procedure to treat a patient suffering from an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The prostate artery embolisation (PAE) technique cuts the blood supply to the gland, by placing sand grain-sized particles into the prostate arteries with the help of a plastic catheter inserted in the groin, resulting in prostate shrinkage.
Southampton General Hospital consultant interventional radiologist Nigel Hacking said, "As lifestyle changes such as reduced fluid intake and medication are often unsuccessful, thousands of men around the UK have to undergo surgery to relieve their symptoms, often resulting in longer recovery periods and side effects," Hacking added.
"This technique allows us to halt symptoms non-surgically through just a one to two-hour procedure under local anaesthetic which sees the patient home within four to six hours - it is a major milestone."
The new procedure does not carry the side effects usually coupled with surgical option transurethral prostatectomy (TURP).