What Is PAE, or prostate artery embolization for enlarged prostate?
PAE stands for prostate artery embolization, an exciting procedure developed for men suffering from an enlarged prostate gland. It is completely different from the traditional surgical procedures for an enlarged prostate that are done by going through the penile urethra. Our North Austin PAE specialists have extensive experience with these procedures and are happy to discuss whether PAE is a good option for you.
Prostate artery embolization or PAE does not involve a urinary catheter and does not carry the risk of urinary incontinence or sexual side effects. It is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed through the pelvic arteries by an interventional radiologist.
Watch Dr. Preston Smith Discuss PAE, prostate artery embolization
What is PAE, prostate artery embolization
In the prostate artery embolization procedure, a small tube called a catheter is inserted through the main artery in the groin and maneuvered into the blood supply on one side of the prostate gland. This part of the procedure is visualized by using live X-ray, also known as fluoroscopy.
Once the tube is correctly positioned, small plastic beads are slowly injected into the artery. This process is called embolization. The beads are mixed with X-ray dye, so that the speed of the blood flow to the prostate can be accurately assessed. When the blood flow is almost at a halt, the injection is stopped. This is repeated on the other side of the prostate.
Once most of the blood flow to the prostate gland is stopped, the small tube is removed. The insertion site in the groin artery is closed using a small internal plug or stitch.
Recovery after prostate artery embolization
After the PAE has been completed, the patient will return to his room and lay flat in bed for 45 minutes to an hour. The device used to close the entrance to the artery will set in place, and the patient will recover from sedation. After that, the patient will be able to go home with minimal restrictions for a few days – and the best part is, there’s no urinary catheter!
Over the next few months, the prostate will shrink and allow for easier, less frequent and less urgent urination. Patients will first experience this typically around two weeks after the procedure. These symptoms will slowly improve out to three months or so, and the benefits last an average of more than five to six years.
If you have questions about PAE and whether it’s a good option for you, our Austin PAE specialists are happy to discuss the procedure with you. Contact us to schedule an appointment.