Hackensack University Medical Center Giving Hope to Many with New Prostate Embolization Procedure

February 16, 2016

A new cutting-edge prostate embolization procedure is now being offered at Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) in order to treat certain patients with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH (enlarged prostate).  In 2000, John DeMeritt, M.D. an interventional radiologist along with his colleagues in the Urology Department at HackensackUMC were the first to report the relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) related urinary symptoms after arterial embolization with small particles.

The relief of BPH related urinary symptoms was associated with significant shrinkage of the prostate gland.  After further research and clinical testing at various institutions around the world, this promising procedure is now becoming more widely used to treat patients with BPH and is called prostate artery embolization (PAE).  Similar to the female version to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids, prostate embolization effectively reduces the blood supply to the enlarged prostate in order to shrink it, thereby reducing urinary symptoms.

Men with BPH can expect to have a slow or weak urinary stream, dribbling, urgency, frequent urination, interrupted sleep, and occasionally blood in the urine.  The urologist can help determine if the patient is an appropriate candidate for prostate artery embolization. The PAE procedure can improve urinary symptoms without the risk of sexual side effects. PAE is typically performed as a same-day outpatient procedure through a small puncture in the groin to access the arteries.

“I had blood when I urinated, severe cramping and less than two weeks after the procedure, my symptoms were gone and I was 100 percent back to my old self,” said W. L. Rivers of Verona, a  patient of Dr. Tom Christiano, HackensackUMC Department of Urology  and Dr. DeMeritt, who underwent the procedure over a year ago.

“This procedure is a viable alternative for patients with significant urinary symptoms who have failed or who cannot tolerate medical therapy in lieu of traditional surgical techniques. HackensackUMC is one of the few centers in the NY metropolitan area performing prostate embolization,” said Dr. DeMeritt.

HackensackUMC has state-of-the-art technology, including Cone Beam CT, to guide the procedure.  Cone Beam CT is utilized to ensure safety for patients and minimize complications from the procedure.

The procedure consists of a catheter being placed through a groin artery and subsequently into the small arteries that feed the prostate gland.  Small particles are then inserted through the catheter in order to reduce the blood flow to the prostate and shrink it.

“I was a bit skeptical at first, but as the days progressed after my surgery, I got better and better.  I really appreciate the care HackensackUMC took to get me better,” said Mr. Rivers.

For more information about prostate embolization or any HackensackUMC diagnostic radiology procedures, please call 551-996-2182.

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775- bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 team members and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is the only hospital in New Jersey, New York and New England to be named one of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals™ nine consecutive years, and receive the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.