What is a Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)?
Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by a Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland and is the most common benign tumor found in men.
Why have Prostatic Artery Embolization?
As the prostate gets bigger, it may constrict or partly block the urethra, causing lower urinary tract symptoms such as:
- Urinary incontinence, which can range from some leaking to complete loss of bladder control
- Irritative voiding symptoms
- Increased urinary frequency, urgency, and pain upon urination
For some patients, these symptoms interfere with their quality of life.
How do I know if Prostatic Artery Embolization is right for me?
The PAE procedure is for candidates who are either ineligible or not interested in traditional surgery. An exam with a surgeon can determine if you are a candidate for PAE. At your appointment, you may be asked how often you have urinary symptoms of BPH, how severe they are, and how much they affect your quality of life.
What happens during Prostatic Artery Embolization?
- PAE is performed by a surgeon. The surgeon uses X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and treat conditions without surgery.
- PAE is performed through a small catheter inserted by your surgeon into the artery in your groin. The surgeon will then guide the catheter into the vessels that supply blood to your prostate.
- An arteriogram (an X-ray in which dye is injected into the blood vessels) is done to map the blood vessels feeding your prostate.
- Tiny round microspheres (particles) are injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels that feed your prostate to reduce its blood supply.
- Following this procedure the prostate will begin to shrink, relieving and improving symptoms usually within days of the procedure.