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Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate artery embolization is effective treatment for enlarged prostate gland

Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is an exciting, new, minimally invasive treatment for urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate gland, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While most available treatments for BPH involve a resection or surgery from inside the urethra, PAE works by shrinking the prostate gland from the outside. This technique leaves the urethra and bladder neck alone, minimizing unwanted side effects.

PAE is a highly technical procedure performed by an interventional radiologist, a medical doctor specializing in image-guided, minimally invasive interventions. It is an endovascular procedure. The entire process occurs inside the pelvis’s arteries surrounding the prostate gland. It requires a tiny incision, just wide enough to put a needle inside the artery. Incisions of this size do not need a single stitch.

Minimally invasive, quick recovery

A small plastic tube is directed into the arteries supplying blood to the prostate gland with live x-ray, or fluoroscopy. X-ray contrast verifies the tube’s position. Then, soft plastic beads measuring less than half a millimeter are slowly administered into the prostate arteries, blocking off most of the blood supply. This process is called embolization.

On average, the procedure takes about an hour, followed by an hour of recovery. Doctors perform this procedure in an outpatient setting, avoiding the need for overnight observation in a hospital or surgery center. Recovery is minimal, with avoidance of heavy lifting the only precaution recommended for 48 hours.

Why should I consider prostate artery embolization?

There are many reasons for patients to consider PAE for the treatment of an enlarged prostate gland.

  • Side effects are typically mild and transient.
  • There is no requirement to have a urinary catheter placed.
  • PAE does not carry a significant risk of sexual side effects, making this procedure one of few good options for sexually active men.
  • All prostate sizes, even very large prostates (greater than 120 grams) can be treated by PAE. It is now one of few treatments available for prostates of this size and is often a good approach to try before surgical prostate removal.
  • While PAE remains investigational for the treatment of prostate cancer, doctors can use it to reduce the size of the prostate gland to make patients candidates for minimally invasive cancer treatment, such as HIFU.

Austin BPH treatment by the prostate experts

NAU Urology Specialists is one of the few practices in the United States with a multidisciplinary team of subspecialized urology and interventional radiology physicians dedicated to managing urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate gland. Our Austin BPH treatment team is passionate about providing the proper treatment for your prostate issues.

For more information about this minimally invasive treatment for urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate gland, watch our free online educational webinar.

Contact us to learn more about effective treatment for BPH through prostate artery embolization.