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HEALTHBEAT 4: Treating enlarged prostates

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DAKOTA DUNES, SD (KTIV) -- June is Men's Health Month. It's a time to heighten the awareness of preventable health issues and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

One thing all men are at risk for is prostate cancer.

"I think men, in general, tend to be overlooked because we know, tougher guys out there, but as we get older, there are ailments that affect all people of all ages," said Dr. Neal Khurana, Midlands Vascular and Interventional Radiologist.

Dr. Khurana said a big issue some men face is enlarged prostates.

"Prostates increase in size no matter if you are 50, 60 or 70," said Dr. Khurana. "As you get older, your prostate will get larger."

Dr. Khurana said that it can cause some debilitating symptoms. The primary symptom being problems urinating.

"BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy is basically benign enlargement of the prostate," said Dr. Khurana. "It's not cancer."

Dr. Khurana said a general doctor can provide medications, but if that doesn't work, the next option is usually surgery.

But, in the last decade or so, interventional radiologists have developed a process to slow down the blood supply to the prostate.

It's called prostate artery embolization. Dr. Khurana said they will direct a catheter through the artery in the wrist or groin, to the artery that feeds the prostate.

"At that point, we inject a small bit of particles that will reduce the blood flow to the prostate," said Dr. Khurana. "So if you think about the prostate being a grape, after we cut the blood supply off it shrinks down to a raisin."

Dr. Khurana said many patients see relief within three months, allowing them to avoid surgery.

"It's really nice to see these patients back to their normal lives without symptoms and they did it without having surgery," said Dr. Khurana.

Dr. Khurana said patients go through some tests before the procedure to make sure they are good candidates for it.

If they aren't, they will most likely be sent to a urologist for a surgical procedure.

Michaela Feldmann

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