Prostate Artery Embolization

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What is Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

Prostate artery embolization is a nonsurgical procedure for the treatment of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Men who suffer from an enlarged prostate typically have lower urinary tract symptoms which include urinary frequency, frequent nighttime urination, feeling of incomplete emptying, a weak stream or starting and stopping during urination.

In this procedure, an interventional radiologist accesses the blood supply to the prostate through a tiny needle in either the top of the leg or wrist.  Rather than performing a procedure through the penis, a microscopic catheter is placed into the prostatic arteries and microscopic beads are injected to reduce the blood supply to the prostate, therefore shrinking the entire prostate gland. This shrinkage of the prostate allows for better passage of urine through the prostate as well as reduced size and irritation.

Prostate artery embolization is an outpatient, painless procedure which is performed under a twilight sleep.  Our average procedure time is roughly 45 minutes. This procedure offers the lowest complication rate of procedures for BPH, without the risk of impotence/sexual dysfunction, incontinence/urine leak and does not require the placement of a Foley or Bladder catheter.  The procedure may be performed in a prostate gland of any size or shape/morphology. There is no upper limit to prostatic gland size for this procedure and occasionally this procedure may be performed in conjunction with other procedures to reduce their bleeding risk.

Frequently asked questions

How Long Is The Procedure?


At our institution, the procedure on average lasts approximately 45 minutes. We do have the patient stay with us for approximately 2 hours after the procedure to recover and then they are discharged home.




Can I Drive Home After The Procedure?


No, you may not drive until the following day as you likely will have received some degree of sedation medicine. Someone else may drive you to and from the procedure. If you were coming from out of town, we asked that you stay locally the night of the procedure.




Is The Procedure Covered By My Insurance?


Most insurances cover this procedure. We have an in office insurance coordinator who will take care of any necessary preauthorization that is required. Coverage is also based on your individual clinical history and situation, therefore we will perform this predetermination following your consultation.




Do I Need To Get Any Blood Work Prior To The Procedure?


This will be determined at the time of your consultation, however we do not routinely perform blood work on every patient. This is performed on an individual case by case basis.




Do I Need To Have Any Preoperative Imaging Performed Such As A CT Scan Or MRI?


We typically do not require preoperative imaging of the arteries as our experience with the procedure is so vast that we can perform this without requiring patients to undergo an additional test or expense.




How Many Of These Procedures Have You Performed?


At prostate centers USA, our team is led by physicians who have performed more than 1000 PAE procedures, which is the largest experience in the United States. They are also the first team to perform this procedure in a controlled setting approximately 10 years ago, while conducting the first US clinical study. We routinely perform 10 or more procedures in a single center each week.





Prostate Artery Embolization

What is PAE or Prostate Artery Embolization?