Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy / Hyperplasia

What is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy / Hyperplasia (BPH)?


Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy / Hyperplasia is a very common condition in older men that causes lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).  The occurrence of BPH increases with age.   About half of men over 50 years of age, and over 80% of men over 70 years of age, have BPH [1].  The LUTS are caused by an enlarged prostate pressing on the urethra. The urethra moves urine from the bladder to outside the body. 



  • Poor urinary flow
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Sudden urge to urinate



  • Oral medications, such as alpha blockers.
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) – a surgical procedure where a resectoscope is inserted through the urethra and a portion of the prostate is removed.
  • Prostate Artery Embolization – minimally invasive treatment to block the blood supply to the prostate


What is Prostate Artery Embolization?


Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure where an Interventional Radiologist, makes a small incision in the wrist or groin and inserts a catheter into an artery.  The Interventional Radiologist uses X-ray imaging to guide the catheter to the blood vessels feeding the prostate.  An embolic agent is then injected, which blocks the blood supply to the prostate and starves it of oxygen and nutrients.  The majority of men treated with PAE report a decrease in symptoms, improved quality of life, and a high degree of satisfaction. 



  • Minimally Invasive
  • Shorter Recovery
  • Out-patient procedure
  • Does not require a general anesthetic
  • Not performed through the urethra (less patient discomfort)




Although complications from PAE are rare, all medical procedures carry some inherent risk.  All risks and complications associated with this procedure should be discussed with your doctor.


PAE is an alternative to surgery.  If you think you are a candidate for PAE, discuss your treatment options with your doctor.


Video of patient treated with Ekobi 500 for PAE


[1] The Epidemiology of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Associated with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms.  Egan, Kathryn Brigham Urologic Clinics, Volume 43, Issue 3, 289-297

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