Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a relatively new and safer outpatient procedure performed by interventional radiologists to help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlarged prostate. While an enlarged prostate might not be life-threatening, it may affect your daily activities. PAE has a high success rate than various treatments available for BPH, with over ninety percent of the men experiencing significant relief in the first year. Additionally, PAE does not cause unwanted sexual side effects common with other treatments for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Before looking at the other numerous benefits of the PAE procedure, let’s start by understanding exactly what BPH is and how it can affect a man’s daily life.


How is the Procedure Performed?

 

Your surgeon will make a small incision in the groin and insert a catheter through the artery that supplies blood to the prostate. After inserting the catheter, the surgeon injects a solution that contains thousands of microscopic plastic beads. Should change to “The tiny beads block the artery that supplies blood to the prostate. The process is referred to as embolization. Your surgeon will repeat the procedure on the other side but from the original incision. Depending on the location and the size of the prostatic arteries, the PAE procedure takes anywhere from 1 to 4 hours.

By blocking the blood flow of blood to the area affected by BPH, the cells in the prostate start to die. Over a few months, the immune system reabsorbs the dead tissues and forms a scar. The scar tissue gradually contracts, shrinking the prostate. The prostate usually shrinks by about 20 to 40 percent in about six months, resulting in significant symptom improvement and increased urine flow. Since it is impossible to block the blood flow to the prostate, partial blockage of blood flow also leads to a necrosis process that makes the prostate softer, alleviating the pressure that causes urine blockage.

Unlike surgeries, PAE does not involve the use of general anesthesia. However, the patient will get IV medication that takes the anxiety and pain, making you more comfortable during the procedure. The procedure is not painful and takes less time when compared to other surgeries.
Since the procedure does not involve removal of the prostate part physically, you may not see the results immediately. However, the patient will start noticing significant results in 1-2 months and continue getting consistently better results until 5-6 months later.

Why Choose Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

 

When compared to other treatments, PAE is a better alternative. The procedure is ideal for most individuals, including people taking certain medications such as blood thinners. The procedure is also effective in eliminating the symptoms without affecting the patient sex life. Some of the other reasons why you should choose PAE to include:

  • No Hospitalization

This is an outpatient procedure performed in an interventional radiology suite with the only use of IV medications to make them comfortable. Most patients are discharged 3-4 hours after the procedure.

  • Minimally Invasive Procedure

The procedure only requires a small incision, meaning the patient will experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.

  • Few Side Effects

Patients have reported few side effects. Even better, they get consistent results, allowing them to get back on their feet within a short time.

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) vs. Surgery

One of the main advantages of PAE over surgery is the short recovery. Unlike surgeries that require a stay at the hospital, PAE is an outpatient procedure, meaning that the patient can go home the same day. The recovery period is also significantly short since no physical part is removed. This means that you do not have to deal with the pain associated with healing an internal wound. PAE is also safe for most patients, including those who cannot undergo certain surgeries due to various underlying conditions. There are also significant advantages when it comes to sexual functions. Unlike TURP, ejaculatory problems and erectile dysfunction are much lower with PAE.

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