Saint Louis University Hospital Among First To Offer New Option for BPH Sufferers 
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 
ST. LOUIS – Physicians at Saint Louis University Hospital are among the first in the region to perform a new option for patients suffering with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by shrinking the prostate non-surgically through a procedure called prostate artery embolization.

In the procedure, interventional radiologists feed a catheter through the femoral artery into the prostate artery. They then implant microscopic spheres that block blood supply to the prostate, causing it to shrink. It’s a minimally-invasive procedure with no hospital admission and according to studies performed elsewhere in the world, can show almost immediate improvement in a patient’s prostate function.

SLUCare interventional radiologists Sameer Gadani, MD, and Rotimi Johnson, MD, performed the first case at Saint Louis University Hospital on February 27.

BPH affects more than half of all men over 50 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 years. It can significantly impact quality of life with increased urinary frequency.  Untreated, these problems may lead to incontinence, kidney damage, bladder damage, urinary tract infections, bladder stones or the inability to pass urine at all.

Aside from medications, which come with some side effects, the most common therapy used to treat BPH is a surgical procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). However, that too can come with side effects like sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, retrograde ejaculation that many men prefer to avoid.

Prostate artery embolization avoids that and in a study reported at the Society of Interventional Radiology in August 2013, 94% of men had significant reductions in lower urinary tract symptoms after one month.

“The intriguing part of this procedure is that it preserves sexual function,” says Kirubahara Vaheesan, MD, chief of interventional radiology at Saint Louis University Hospital. “In a larger series study released from Portugal, half the men actually reported improved sexual function.”

“This procedure has been perfected in Brazil, Portugal and the European Union and we’re excited to be among the few institutions in the United States at SLU,” says Dr. Johnson.

For more information about prostate artery embolization at Saint Louis University Hospital, call 314-268-5989.


About Saint Louis University Hospital

Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-licensed bed quaternary/tertiary referral center located in the heart of the city of St. Louis. Approximately 75 percent of patients are drawn from a 150-mile radius. Through affiliation as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University, the hospital provides patients and their families with an environment of medical innovation. Working in this endeavor are the hospital’s medical staff partners, SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. The hospital admits more than 17,000 patients annually, performs more than 200 organ transplants a year and is a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 major trauma cases a year. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Jason Merrill
Call: 314-577-8152