Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) that has failed traditional medical and/or surgical therapy.  It is an alternative treatment for men who want to avoid surgery (or can’t have surgery) and its associated risks and side effects.

In a PAE procedure helps relieve lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) such as urinary frequency, urgency, burning, dribbling, incontinence or urinary retention. Men can expect a mean prostate volume reduction of 30-40%, dramatically improving or resolving LUTS, as well as improving quality of life.

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called prostate gland enlargement, is a common condition as men get older. In fact, 50% of males at age 60 will develop at least one symptom, 75% at age 70 and 90% at age 85. The prostate is a reproductive gland located below the bladder. Because the urethra goes through the gland, men often experience LUTS due to compression of the urethra. Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is an effective minimally invasive treatment that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by a Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

PAE Versus TURP, Open Prostatectomy

After initial medical therapy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) remains the gold standard of surgical treatment. However, its role is undermined by the associated risks of bleeding and lasting sexual dysfunction. With TURP, there are significant side effects, notably retrograde ejaculation (TURP 50%, open 80%), impotence (TURP 5-10%, open 15-20%), urethral stricture (up to 29%) and incontinence (up to 40%).

PAE has been demonstrated to have no to minimal association with ejaculatory and erectile dysfunction when compared with surgery. In fact, many patients report improved sexual function, likely due to reduction or cessation of prostate medications. Furthermore, since the procedure is performed as an outpatient with same day discharge, recovery is shorter compared to 5-7 days of recovery after surgery.

How Does The Procedure Work?

The procedure involves delivering embolic agents to block blood flow to the specific arteries that supply blood to the prostate. As the prostate begins to shrink, patients will see a significant reduction or even resolution of symptoms in as little as 2 weeks. Patients may even reduce or come off prostate medications.

How Is The Procedure Performed?

PAE is an image-guided, minimally invasive procedure that uses a high-definition x-ray camera to introduce a catheter into the prostatic arteries to deliver the embolic particles. The interventional radiologists and clinical staff at our outpatient vascular centers combine medical expertise and compassion to guide you through your PAE treatment journey, providing symptomatic relief and getting you back to your daily routine quickly.

At Azura, we work every day to deliver far more than our patients expect. We bring our full range of medical capabilities and service excellence to every patient, every visit at each of our centers nationwide,

Prostate Artery Embolization FAQs

What Can I Expect During MY Initial Consultation?

A detailed history and physical exam will be performed. If imaging has not been obtained, an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI will be ordered to fully assess the size and volume of the prostate. On the subsequent visit, the imaging findings will be reviewed with you and the PAE procedure will be discussed in detail, planned and scheduled to be performed.

What Will I Experience During And After The Procedure?

With moderate or deep sedation, most patients are relaxed, sleepy and comfortable for the procedure. Injection of contrast material may cause a warm feeling in the body or legs which quickly subsides. PAE has minimal adverse effects. For patients without indwelling catheters, urethral burning during voiding and frequent urination have been the most common symptoms after PAE. These effects typically last 3-5 days and can be treated with non-opioid analgesic medications.

Patients are able to resume normal activities usually less than one week after PAE.

When Can I Expect To See Improvement Of My Symptoms?

Patients can expect to see noticeable symptom relief in 2-4 weeks after PAE.


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