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Men’s Health

Prostate Artery Embolization

The prostate is a male reproductive gland located in the pelvis, below the bladder, surrounding a portion of the urethra. As some men grow older, their prostates may enlarge and make it difficult to urinate. By blocking blood-flow to the prostate, Interventional Radiologists at HRA can help our urology colleagues shrink the prostate and treat these symptoms.

First, using ultrasound and x-ray guidance, a small needle is used to enter the artery of the leg or wrist. Then, small catheters and wires are used to find the arteries that supply the prostate. Finally, plastic beads are slowly injected to block blood flow to the prostate and cause it to die.

The procedure has a low risk of bleeding, infection, and damage to nearby organs. Typically, it requires placement of a urinary catheters and is performed for outpatients. Most patients stay overnight in the hospital before returning home the next day.

Varicocele Embolization

When the veins next to the testicle enlarge, they are called a varicocele. These enlarged veins can cause pain and/or infertility. Varicoceles are usually caused by blood flowing backwards in the gonadal vein, which increases pressure in the veins next to the testicle. Interventional Radiologists at HRA can help our urology colleagues shrink the varicocele and treat these symptoms by blocking the reversed blood flow from the inside.

Using ultrasound and x-ray guidance, a small needle is used to enter the vein of the neck or leg. Small wires and catheters are used to find the gonadal vein. This vein is then blocked off from the inside, usually with metal coils and chemical agent that causes the veins to clot.

The procedure has a low risk of bleeding, infection, and damage to nearby organs. It is usually performed for outpatients, who can return home immediately afterwards.

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