A minimally invasive option
for an Enlarged Prostate Diagnosis

Prostate Artery Embolization May Be Your Answer

Current traditional treatments include medications or major surgery.  Unfortunately these both come with side effects that can be unpleasant or life disrupting. Medications often affect muscle in the urethra leading to Erectile dysfunction, as well as symptoms such as feeling light-headed or fatigued.  Surgery can cause incontinence or erectile dysfunction (ED) problems.
Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive outpatient treatment that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. This treatment has a much lower risk of the sexual side effects such as retrograde ejaculation or erectile dysfunction which can occur from surgery. Unlike traditional surgical treatment, PAE is an outpatient treatment. This means patients will not have to stay in the hospital can even go home the same day. We perform this treatment in the comfort of our IR Clinic in Winchester VA.

Key Advantages:

  • Typically performed as an outpatient procedure
  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Faster recovery time when compared to surgery
  • Relieves lower urinary tract symptoms
    • (LUTS) such as feelings of urgency and frequency (especially at night -nocturia)
    • Incomplete bladder emptying
    • Weak urine stream
    • Intermittent urine stream
    • Straining while urinating
  • Can improve LUTS without surgery and lower risk of sexual side effects or incontinence.
  • Overall significant improvement in quality of life

Is PAE right for you? Take the quiz and find out.

The international Prostate Symptom Score Questionnaire was developed to measure the severity of your BPH symptoms. Your score is not meant to provide medical advice or replace your doctor’s expert opinion and care.  Only your doctor can diagnose whether or not you have BPH and assess your individual condition.  There are other conditions that can cause  urinary symptoms besides BPH.

Your Quality Of Life Is Important

For some patients,  symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate can interfere with sleep, further reducing their quality of life.

Although BPH can have serious complications, it is not a cancer and is considered a normal part of the aging process for men.  Yet if left untreated it can lead to other health problems dealing with the bladder, urinary tract or kidneys.  Surprisingly, research shows that the amount of prostate enlargement is not directly related to the severity of the symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 Prostate Artery Embolization (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 The PAE Procedure 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.

What Type of Doctor Should Perform PAE?

An Interventional Radiologist is the best choice for this procedure.  Because they have specialized skills in combining live stream imaging, and minimally invasive treatments.

How Effective Is Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

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 Our Patients Have to Say…

My experience with Dr.Couvillon and his team was very positive. I was nervous and apprehensive about my UFE procedure but Dr.Couvillon and his entire team have the medical knowledge and people skills that put my uneasiness to rest quickly. I would recommend this practice to my friends and family. I’m grateful for such a positive medical experience with this facility

03/2021- Patient

I had an appointment with this facility. I have never, ever, met a more friendly or more personable group of professionals in my long life.  It was a really great medical appointment

06/29/2021 David

Everyone is very kind.  Pleasant experience!  I will be back.


Winchester Radiologists IR Clinic Hours:  Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm