INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new outpatient procedure for men suffering from an enlarged prostate has made its way to Central Indiana.
“It’s a common problem for men in their 50s and 60s. It never gets better, it actually gets worse over time,” said Dr. Jeff Cooke, a vascular surgeon at Ascension St. Vincent.
Doctors say worries about surgery prevent some men from seeking treatment.
And when they do, doctors are often reluctant to perform surgery when the prostate is non-cancerous (benign).
Dr. Cooke says he developed symptoms of an enlarged prostate in his mid 50s.
“I was having trouble starting a stream and when it did start, it was weak,” he said.
Dr. Cooke says he thought this was just going to be his life.
Until one day at his son’s graduation from Purdue University, after the senior night football game, he went to the bathroom.
“10 people had gone in and out before I even started,” said Dr. Cooke.
He says he went to the doctor and cancer was ruled out, but he was put on lifelong medication that caused back pain.
And as he aged his symptoms got worse.
He started developing the frustrating sense of urgency, which Dr. Cooke says impacted his job.
Dr. Cooke says it was then he researched and found the Prostate Artery Embolization procedure.
It involves inserting a tiny catheter through an artery in the groin or wrist and pushing it to the arteries supplying blood to the prostate gland.
“To limit that blood flow we close it down with these small particles. When that happens, the prostate particularly that media lobe that wraps around the urethra and causes those symptoms, that starts to shrink down,” said Dr. Brandon Martinez, an interventional radiologist who works with Dr. Cooke.
Dr. Martinez says he recognized this new procedure could benefit his patients.
He then trained on it and after less than a dozen procedures, Dr. Cooke was next.
“I am back to peeing like a 40 year old at this point in time. Not a teenager, but it’s comfortable it flows and empties and I’m very satisfied with what they did and I’m not taking medication for it anymore.” said. Dr. Cooke.
Dr. Martinez says his office sees success rates of around 80% of sleeping through the night without going to the bathroom.
Dr. Cooke encourages men to get checked out if they’re experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostrate.
“You know when you’re having difficultly going to the bathroom so talk to your doctor before it gets worse,” he said.