Alternative treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia are under intense scrutiny. Initial reports on balloon dilation therapy showed success rates of 60% to 90%, although follow-up was brief. We present a prospective non-blinded study assessing the efficacy of an investigational balloon dilatation catheter (105 Fr at 3 atm) as well as the MRI findings preoperatively and postoperatively. Twenty-seven men underwent balloon dilation and have been followed for at least 1 year. Twelve patients (44%) ultimately required definitive transurethral prostatectomy during follow-up. A mild improvement was noted in the symptom score and flow rate in the responder group. Fracture of the anterior commissure was accomplished in only 5 patients (18%) despite diligent efforts. The MRI scans showed no change in the prostate in any patients. Intraoperative transrectal ultrasound scanning suggested that proximal balloon migration can occur. Our experience with this balloon system leads us to recommend that it remain an investigational procedure.
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