Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) for BPH
Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is the process by which prostate enlargement occurs. It is one of the most common diseases found in aging men, and the odds of having BPH increase with age. Studies show that BPH is present in 50% of males in their fifties, increasing up to 80% percent of males over 80. BPH is the most common cause of urinary issues in men. It usually causes some combination of frequent and difficult urination, leakage, and urgency. One of the most common complaints of patients is waking up several times at night to urinate. Prostate Artery Embolization, or PAE, is a treatment option for BPH.
Prostate Embolization Treatment
Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist (IR), which is done in an outpatient or in-office setting. While it is hard to say exactly how old the procedure is, PAE can be found sparingly performed 15-20 years ago, gaining more frequent usage over the past 5 years, due to favorable outcome data and new techniques.
Technique And Results
A patient will undergo an x-ray dye study to localize the main arteries that supply both sides of the prostate gland. Those arteries will then be blocked off with very small plastic particles to greatly reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the prostate’s blood supply. This will result in a gradual shrinkage of the prostate gland over the following weeks to months. After several weeks of significant symptom relief, it is ok to come off of prostate medications.
Advantages of PAE
The best feature of PAE over other therapies is the favorable side effect profile. It does not carry the risks of erectile dysfunction, reduced sexual desire, or reversal of ejaculation direction backward into the bladder. This makes PAE a wonderful option for those patients who wish to avoid these potential side effects, such as sexually active men.
At Summit IR, we have performed over 200 of this new highly technical procedure. Our unique experience allows us to deliver the highest level of success for our patients. We also work with several urology groups, so that you will receive the best available care whether or not you are a candidate for PAE. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more.