Your enlarged prostate doesn’t need surgery

Gentlemen, you’re probably grateful that your enlarged prostate isn’t prostate cancer…but anyone would agree that it’s no picnic either.

As the thing swells, it starts to push against the urethra or cause it to become irritated and inflamed. That leads to the panicky feeling that you’ve got to go…RIGHT NOW…even when your bladder isn’t close to full.

And once you’re going, it can lead to the frustrating “stops and starts” that keep you standing in front of the toilet or urinal for an embarrassing amount of time.

So I can certainly understand why you might be excited by a new study that suggests there’s a surgery that can give you the relief you’re so desperate for, especially in the wee hours.

The procedure is called a prostatic artery embolization (PAE), and it involves running a catheter up your leg and into the prostate artery to partially block the flow of blood by dropping some tiny beads in there. Supposedly, that can reduce the swelling and ease the symptoms.

But don’t get on the horn and dial up a surgeon just yet… because there’s more to this than meets the eye.

And at first glance, it looks like a wild success. Every single man reported fewer nighttime trips to the bathroom and a better overall quality of life, just a month after surgery.

But this isn’t slam dunk the researchers are making it out to be…because they only had a 100 percent success rate with the men who actually responded after surgery.

A third of the men who had the surgery went AWOL in a month’s time!

And while all the men who didn’t disappear reported improvements after one month, the numbers at the three-month mark started to get ugly.

By that point, less than half the initial group reported improvements!

If they can’t even find all the patients who had the surgery, how can these researchers be so sure that the risk of complications (like a bleeding problem or infections) is ACTUALLY low?

Even the “improvement” they’re touting is a matter of opinion: The men went from a nightly average of more than three bathroom breaks to less than two. Night after night, that’s still a lot of urgent wake-up calls from the prostate.

Even if the risks of surgery are truly low, I don’t think you need to face them to shrink your prostate and end the frustrating toilet trips.

Prostate enlargement can be caused by a diet high in fat and low in fiber, so making some basic dietary changes to turn those two around is a good place to start.

Time-tested natural remedies such as saw palmetto can also help.

If you still can’t get any relief, it’s time to work closely with a holistic medical doctor. If you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in Southern California? Not a problem! I can also offer advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.