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Why Do Men Suffer from Enlarged Prostate?

Men's Health Prostate Endovascular Clinic Procedures

The prostate is a small, but very important part of the male anatomy, an organ that plays a role in producing some of the fluid in semen. The tiny gland is located in front of the bladder and close to the urethra, the tube that is responsible for passing urine. The most common condition that affects the prostate is the benign enlargement of the gland, a slow and long process that can be asymptomatic for a long time and that starts causing problems only when the prostate has become large enough to disturb the way the bladder and urethra work. Here are some things to know about the causes of prostate enlargement, the symptoms and the endovascular clinic Fort Collins treatment options.

The Causes of Prostate Enlargement

The exact causes of the affection are not fully understood, but specialist believe that the condition is triggered by aging and the natural changes in the hormonal balance of the male body. Certain risk factors, such as the presence of diabetes, heart disease, the long-term administration of beta blockers and obesity, can increase the likelihood of developing prostate enlargement.

The Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement

The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate start appearing after the age of 50 and they are related to the process of passing urine. When the prostate has grown large enough to interfere with urination, the symptoms usually include difficulty starting to pee or to pass urine, the frequent need to urinate even when the bladder is empty and urinary incontinence.

The Treatments for Enlarged Prostate

There are many conventional treatment options available for prostate enlargement. The most common ones include the administration of medication to reduce the size of the prostate and to relax the bladder; lifestyle changes to induce weigh loss and help control diabetes and surgical interventions that remove the prostate enlargement. In some cases, avoiding a high liquid intake, regular exercise and avoiding or limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption can also help.

Besides medication and major surgery, there is a modern, minimally invasive treatment option called embolization that has been found successful in the treatment of the condition. The intervention is performed by an interventional radiologist in the radiology suite of a hospital and it involves the administration of tiny beads into which a radioactive substance has been introduced. The substance is administered through a catheter introduced into the patient’s abdomen and it serves the purpose of blocking the blood flow to the prostate, causing it to shrink and to return to normal size. The procedure takes about an hour to complete and it is performed under mild to moderate anesthesia, complete sedation being rarely needed. When the embolization process is complete, the patient is taken to a ward to for being monitored for a couple of hours. Embolization might or might not provide a permanent solution to the problem – in some cases, the effects are long-lasting or they might not return in the future, but in some cases, the prostate might start slowly growing again, which means that the symptoms might appear again in a few years after the embolization.


Typical Recovery Time from Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom tooth extraction is not a simple procedure of pulling a front tooth out and then keeping a little bit of sterile cotton in place to stave off the blood flow. It involves oral surgery, because wisdom teeth are molars and have a 4-pronged root instead of a simple root.

This is why you should plan your next few weeks after wisdom tooth extraction carefully, because you will have to deal with the inconvenience of a healing surgical site in your mouth.

What Is the Average Timeline of Recovery after Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth removal Parker specialists tell us, that on average, you should make a full recovery after this kind of procedure in about two weeks. Here is what you should expect during this period:

  • Day 1: blood clots form at the surgery site
  • Days 2-3: you experience mouth swelling, excessive saliva production, changes in speech pattern and chewing difficulties
  • Day 7: any dentist (not necessarily an oral surgeon) can remove the stitches
  • Days 8-10: stiffness and soreness of the jaw subside
  • Day 14: any remaining symptoms should disappear.

Of course, every person is unique and may experience these symptoms over a different period of time and with various degrees of severity. It is important to remember not to panic; instead, contact your oral surgeon if you feel that some of your symptoms are worrisome.

wisdom teeth removal Parker

What Can You Do to Make Recovery Faster and Smoother?

In many cases, your own eating and drinking habits, as well as other activities can impact the duration of the recovery after wisdom teeth extraction.

Here are some things you can do to help your body heal faster:

  1. Eat Soft Foods

Say goodbye to crackers, well done steaks, toast and any other hard foods that require intense chewing. Instead of that, opt for soft foods, such as:

  • Steamed vegetables
  • Soup
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Broiled chicken or fish
  • Pudding.
  1. Avoid Very Hot and Very Cold Foods and Drinks

Foods and drinks should be served warm or at room temperature. Anything exceeding this may cause your surgery area to become inflamed or even start bleeding. Don’t worry, once you are fully healed from the surgery, you can go back to enjoying hot coffee and ice cream.

  1. Avoid Habits that May Hurt the Surgery Area

Some of the things you do every day without thinking twice may delay the recovery time after wisdom teeth extractions. These are:

  • Smoking (as a general rule, it is not a healthy habit
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Brushing your teeth with excessive strength.
  1. Change Your Oral Hygiene Routine

In fact, during the two weeks until the extraction area heals, you should adopt a special mouth hygiene routine. Gently rinse your mouth with warm salty water, which will help heal the surgery site. Instead of spitting out the water, open your mouth towards the sink and let water flow out.

Last but not least, avoid brushing and flossing your teeth next to the surgery site. If you are worried about your oral hygiene, replace your usual brushing/flossing routine with mouthwash rinses.

What Is Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)?

prostatic artery embolizationOne in four men over 50 and half the men over 75 suffer from enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). This condition is not linked to the risk of developing prostate cancer, but it negatively impacts the quality of life. Men with BPH feel the urge to urinate several times during the night. Also, their sexual function is affected.

The solution for solving these issues is an innovative treatment called prostatic artery embolization (PAE). Its purpose is to shrink the enlarged prostate as close as possible to its normal size (which is the size of a walnut).

Who Qualifies for Prostatic Artery Embolization?

PAE is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require full anesthesia. Thus, it is a viable alternative for men who do not qualify for traditional surgery due to various preexisting conditions.

It is also a great choice if you are not keen on having surgery and want to spend as little time as possible in hospital. However, you will be screened before signing up for the procedure. The examination typically consists of:

  • Urine test
  • Digital rectal examination
  • PSA test to rule out prostate cancer
  • MRI of the prostate gland.

Understanding the Risks of Prostatic Artery Embolization

Almost all medical procedures have negative side effects for some patients. In the case of prostate artery embolization the most common risk is the so-called “post-PAE syndrome”, which has the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful urination.

Some patients have also reported a hematoma forming at the incision site and bladder spasms.

What Happens during a Prostatic Artery Embolization Procedure?

PAE is performed by an Interventional Radiologist. This medical specialization relies on imaging technology to see the inside of the human body and perform interventions without surgery, through a small incision.

Before the procedure itself, the Interventional Radiologist will insert contrast material based on iodine into the patient’s bloodstream to have a clear mapping of the arteries and veins around the prostate.

The procedure starts with conscious sedation. The patient is relaxed, but awake. The doctor will make the incision and insert a thin tube called a catheter in the pelvic artery. The catheter is guided into the blood vessels that supply blood flow to the prostate.

Next, using the vein mapping image, the doctor delivers a charge of tiny particles into each of these blood vessels, in order to reduce the blood flow. As a result, the prostate will start shrinking. The patient will experience the first signs of improvement within the first month after prostatic artery embolization.

After the Procedure

Prostatic artery embolization does not require hospitalization, except for staying overnight for observation and monitoring. Patients report a 75-80% success rate of the procedure, and state that they experienced significant improvement in about 5-6 months.

You may have to come for a follow-up examination, which will involve a scan or MRI to observe the results of PAE. As for long term results, there are few data available. However, several studies found that the shrinking of the prostate maintains for around 3-4 years, even longer.