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How Prostate Artery Embolization Works

How prostate artery embolization works and why you should consider this treatment option

If you have an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a physician may have told you that they need to treat you using a surgical technique called transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, that takes place inside the urethra. What would you say if you knew that there is a minimally invasive method that offers a faster recovery and fewer side effects? This procedure, called prostate artery embolization, is a game-changer for treating men with an enlarged prostate gland. Our Austin urologist can explain how prostate artery embolization works.

NAU Urology Specialists have a team of subspecialized interventional radiology and urology physicians who can perform this outpatient, minimally invasive procedure, sometimes called PAE. We are one of the few practices in the United States with a multidisciplinary team that specializes in managing the urinary problems that occur when you have an enlarged prostate gland. Our Austin urologists have created a free online educational webinar to explain how PAE works and other valuable information about PAE.

Dr. Mistry talks about how prostate artery embolization works

What are the benefits and risks of having PAE vs. TURP for an enlarged prostate gland?

There are several advantages to having PAE instead of TURP.

  • An outpatient procedure with no hospitalization
  • Minimally invasive, so the procedure has fewer or more minor complications
  • Faster recovery time
  • No need to have a urinary catheter
  • No stitches
  • No significant risk of sexual side effects after the procedure

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What to expect if you are having a prostate artery embolization procedure

Our interventional radiologists perform the procedure. Our team administers twilight sleep and local anesthesia, so you get to go home about an hour after your prostate artery embolization.

  • Our interventional radiologist makes a very small, quarter-inch hole in your groin and directs a small plastic tube into the arteries that supply blood to the enlarged prostate gland. The radiologists use X-rays with contrast to verify that the tube is in the correct position.
  • During the embolization process, the radiologist slowly administers very small, soft plastic beads into the prostate arteries to block off most of the blood supply.
  • Your prostate gland should shrink due to the reduced supply, beginning a few days after you have the procedure.
  • When you get home, you may have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pelvic pain or frequent urination. These “post-PAE” symptoms could last a few days after the procedure, but you should talk to our Austin urologists if the symptoms don’t improve.

With any interventional procedure, even a minimally invasive one, there are some risks, including a hematoma at the site of the small incision or puncture that the radiologist made to insert the tube into the arteries. Other risks with prostate artery embolization include blood in your urine, stool, or semen, infection at the incision site or prostate, or bladder spasms.

Our Austin urologists and interventional radiologists provide expert treatment

If you are dealing with an enlarged prostate gland, contact us to make an appointment with our experienced team of urologists and interventional radiologists to learn more about prostate artery embolization. We have the expertise and skill to diagnose and treat your prostate issues.

Schedule Your PAE Consultation

Learn more about interventional radiology and Dr. Preston Smith at Summit Interventional Radiology.