[ELI5] Why isn’t prostatic enlargement treatable with a urethral stent?


It seems like a no brainer: squishy tube getting squished, so wedge non-squishy tube down the chokepoint to prevent squishage.

I assume it’s not that simple, but I don’t understand why.

In: 0

Urethral stents are used to treat the symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, but it doesn’t seem to work nearly as well as surgery for most patients who can tolerate surgery. The stents are used on patients who are not good candidates for surgery, and remain able to empty their bladders on their own. Also, so far about 1/3 of patients who’ve received a stent have needed to have it removed, a difficult and painful procedure that can lead to serious complications. Complications. In short, stents seem to work well for certain candidates, but not as well for others, and even in the ones where it works well, they can lead to serious issues down the road.

I assume there’s a pain factor involved – the stents used in coronary arteries is a mesh that is semi flexible.

If you were to put the same mesh into the urethra at the point the prostate is over growing and constricting it, I imagine there could be damage to all the structures involved causing significant pain. Think of how a kidney stone going through that area feels…