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What to Expect During Prostate Artery Embolization

What to expect during PAE

During your prostate artery embolization, or PAE process, you can expect to feel almost nothing. If you were worried about what to expect during prostate artery embolization, this might sound too good to be true. But prostate artery embolization is typically painless, outside of having an IV placed and some local numbing medicine. Learning the PAE process now will give you great peace of mind when it’s time to come in for your procedure.

Getting checked in and ready is the first part of the PAE process

Patients will show up to our outpatient endovascular center, also called an outpatient cath lab. You will check in at the front desk and walk back to your room. There, you will change into a hospital gown. There will be seating for any family accompanying you. Once you are settled in, you will speak to our nurse, who will place an IV for your anesthesia medications and any intravenous fluids.

Next, you will speak to our nurse anesthetist or our sedation nurse. They will ask you specific questions related to anesthesia, such as history of heart and lung disease, prior surgeries, issues with anesthesia in the past, or allergies to medications. After that, your interventional radiologist will come in to answer any additional questions you or your family members have, so that you know exactly what to expect during prostate artery embolization. Once you have spoken to everyone, it will be time for your PAE.

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What to expect during the prostate artery embolization procedure

In the next step of the PAE process, you will walk back to our procedure room and lie down on the padded procedure bed. We will provide some warm blankets to keep you comfortable. Next, our anesthetist or nurse will begin administering anesthetic medication. Most of our patients elect to have deep sedation, at no additional cost. This means patients typically get propofol, which allows them to fall asleep. This is also the most-used medication for a colonoscopy.

Once you are asleep, we clean the right groin using standard sterile technique. Local numbing medicine is used even if you are asleep, as it aids in making bedrest afterward more comfortable. The PAE procedure typically takes us a little over an hour to perform. After we are finished, you will return to your room, where you will recover for 45 minutes to an hour.

Time to go home

Once your recovery is over, you will get up, walk around and change clothes. We will make sure that your stomach feels OK after the anesthesia, and that you get something to eat, since you will have not had anything besides sips of water with medications. After that, you will be ready to head home for the recovery phase of your PAE process. Because you had anesthesia, you will need a ride home from a trusted friend or family member.

If you have any questions about what to expect during prostate artery embolization, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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