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.