Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a same-day, minimally invasive outpatient procedure used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As men age, they may develop BPH, which is the most common benign tumor found in men that leads to the enlargement of the prostate gland.
The best candidates for PAE are men with severe BPH who experience urinary symptoms and discomfort or pain in the lower pelvic region. Frequent urination, incontinence, inability to urinate, slow or irregular urination, or erectile dysfunction are some of the symptoms. You should also choose PAE if you wish to preserve sexual function, have blood in your urine, or you have symptoms that are not controlled well by medication.
PAE uses advanced imaging techniques to see inside the artery, a catheter is inserted through the groin or wrist and into the arteries leading to the prostate gland. Tiny particles are injected to block the blood flow to the prostate artery, causing the prostate to shrink. The process is repeated on the other side, most commonly through the same original puncture. This is a complex procedure because of the very small size of the prostatic arteries and the “twists-and-turns” required to navigate the catheter to them. This allows for improved urination and relief of symptoms.
- Minimally invasive treatment
- Lower risk of side effects and complications than other treatments
- Faster recovery time
- Effectively reduces and relieves symptoms of BPH
- Improved quality of life
PAE can take anywhere from 1-2.5 hours, depending on the location and size of the arteries. Patients can go home the same day.
PAE does not hurt, so you will not need general anesthesia. A local anesthetic will be placed at the entry site for the catheter. When the particles are injected, you may feel a warm sensation. Once the procedure is done, the catheter is withdrawn with virtually no blood loss.
It usually takes about four days to recover at home, and most patients feel back to normal after a week to ten days.
The rate of success for Prostate Artery Embolization is very high. Over 90% of men experience relief of their symptoms within the first 6 months. With other treatments, there is a chance to cause unwanted sexual side effects. We can assure you, PAE does not affect sexual performance.