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New treatment to shrink prostate

A new treatment for non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate has been recommended for use by the NHS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has approved prostate artery embolisation (PAE).

The treatment blocks some of the blood supply to the prostate using tiny synthetic beads, causing the troublesome tissue to shrink and die.

It involves inserting hundreds of very small (0.2mm) plastic beads into a blood vessel in the groin and is carried out under local anaesthetic, with no overnight stay in hospital.

A total of 18 centres in the UK have already been offering the treatment as part of a trial.

In trials, PAE was compared to conventional prostate surgery and was found to be safe.

It also provided a clinically and statistically significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life for men with enlarged prostate.

Dr Nigel Hacking, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at University Hospital Southampton, said: “Results from the study show PAE can help large numbers of men suffering with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It is a good option for men who are not yet ready to undergo more invasive prostate surgery.”

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