If you have an enlarged prostate, a prostatic artery embolization (PAE) procedure can reduce symptoms without the risk of sexual dysfunction. PAE is a minimally invasive prostate procedure we are happy to offer our patients; when it comes to improving urinary function, PAE helps up to 90% of patients.
Understanding Prostatic Artery Embolization
PAE is the leading treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is the leading cause of non-cancerous prostate enlargement, and it is also the most common benign tumor in men.
By age 55, one in four men with BPH experience urinary symptoms, and that figure increases to approximately 50% of men by age 75 (Hopkins Medicine).
PAE has a low risk of side effects while reducing effects such as erectile dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation. These risks are common with more invasive procedures, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
How It Works
Prostatic artery embolization is performed by an interventional radiologist, a specialized doctor who uses X-ray imagery and advanced imaging techniques to treat patients without surgery.
PAE stops blood flow to the prostate gland, reducing its size and symptoms. The process is performed via a catheter inserted into the radial artery on your wrist or the femoral artery in your hip.
The doctor will navigate through your body by feeding a small wire or catheter through the artery to reach the prostate. Using a type of medical imaging called angiographic imaging, they will determine the proper placement and position of the catheter.
Your prostate has two arteries — a left and right. Your doctor will use the catheter to reach each artery and close it off. Preventing blood flow to the prostate causes it to reduce in size, reversing the symptoms of BPH.
Risks and Side Effects
There are extremely low risks associated with PAE. The minimally invasive procedure does not have any downtime, and it is not performed under general anesthesia. Within two weeks post-treatment, 80-90% of patients report improvement in their symptoms.
In extremely rare cases, improper technique can lead to a stroke or death of tissue in the bladder or rectum. For this reason, choosing an extremely skilled and qualified vascular specialist is important.
At the Minimally Invasive Vascular Center, our team of experienced healthcare professionals performs over 1,600 surgical procedures annually. We use the latest technology and leading techniques to ensure our patients remain as safe as possible during treatment.
Am I a Good Candidate for Prostatic Artery Embolization?
You may be an ideal candidate for PAE if:
- You have been diagnosed with BPH
- Your medication has not successfully reduced your symptoms
- You want to pursue a minimally invasive alternative to traditional BPH surgery
- Your prostate has continued to grow and cause pain and complications despite treatment
- You have had previous BPH surgery that was ineffective
Patients with BPH often experience a wide range of symptoms, primarily affecting their bladder. If you experience frequent urinary tract infections, difficulty urinating, a slow urine stream, leaking or dribbling after urination, inability to empty your bladder, and other symptoms, our team is here to help you find relief.
How To Start Treatment
If you are interested in discussing PAE for BPH, please contact us at the Minimally Invasive Vascular Center in Laurel, MD. You can request a consultation on our website, or call us at (855) 803-6482.