What is Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

Prostate Artery Embolization is a non-surgical alternative to TURP for treating an enlarged prostate.  Our Interventional Radiologist will do this by blocking off the arteries that feed the gland, causing it to shrink.

Is PAE painful?

When the local anesthetic is injected there will be some slight discomfort for a few seconds.   It should pass fairly quickly, as the anesthetic takes effect.  Then the skin and deeper tissue will be numb and you should feel no pain.

As the dye or contrast material enters the area injected you may feel a warming or tingling sensation.  This also will pass fairly quickly.

How long does the PAE procedure take?

The procedure can take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the severity of the BPH.   Each PAE procedure is different, as some will be very straightforward, and others may present a more complex diagnosis.

How is PAE performed?

This procedure is performed under an X-ray, where the Interventional Radiologist is able to see specific targeted areas real time during the procedure.  The patient will lie on the X-ray table on their back.  They will be given sedative and pain medication through an IV to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed. They will be covered in a sterile drape, the only exposed area being the small space the needle will be inserted.

The skin and deeper tissue around the groin will be  anesthetized with local anesthetic.  A needle containing a fine plastic tube called a sheath, over a wire and catheter will be inserted into the artery. The needle will then be withdrawn, leaving the Sheath in place.

The Interventional  Radiologist will then work through this Sheath using small wires and catheters, and positions it at the arteries supplying the prostate with blood.   A special X-ray dye (called contrast) is injected through the catheter into the prostate arteries to identify the targeted blood supply path.  Then tiny particles are injected into this artery, that will block the blood supply to the prostate.   Lastly all of the catheters and sheaths are removed.

How Effective is Prostate Artery Embolization?

Current research shows over 70% of men will have symptomatic improvement after PAE.    Including Prostate volume reduction,  an increase in urinary flow rated, without any sexual dysfunction!

Although in 10% of the patients there may be a difficulty in locating the small prostate arteries, resulting in a lessor improvement in symptoms.  In such cases, traditional TURP surgery may be an option.

What are the risks associated with Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

What type of Dr. should perform PAE?