Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is quickly gaining popularity as an alternative treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a common condition among men as they get older, and it causes bothersome symptoms like frequent urination and dribbling after urinating.
If you’re wondering if PAE is a good option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Our team at South Florida Vascular Associates specializes in this extremely effective, minimally invasive procedure. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding prostate artery embolization and how it works
Your prostate gland has two arteries that supply blood from your heart. PAE is a minimally invasive procedure to block blood flow in these arteries, which makes your prostate shrink and relieves your BPH symptoms.
At South Florida Vascular Associates, we perform PAE as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia. The procedure typically takes one to three hours, and you can go home the same day.
First, we administer local anesthesia to numb your groin area. We make a small incision and insert a small catheter into your femoral artery, the main artery that supplies blood to your legs.
Using X-ray technology, we guide the catheter through your femoral artery and into the arteries that supply blood to your prostate gland. Once the catheter is in place, we inject small particles into the arteries to block blood flow to your prostate. We remove the catheter and close the incision with a small bandage
As your body heals, reduced blood flow makes your prostate shrink to a more normal size. A smaller prostate helps relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of BPH, like frequent urination, urgency, weak stream, and incomplete emptying.
The benefits of prostate artery embolization
PAE has several benefits compared to traditional surgical treatments for the condition, including transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or open prostatectomy.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require general anesthesia, which reduces your risk of complications and shortens recovery time. Unlike surgical treatments, PAE doesn’t require removing any prostate tissue, so it lowers the risk of damage to the nerves that control sexual function.
PAE improves many urinary symptoms associated with BPH, and it has a very high success rate. In fact, one study found that success rates are as high as 97.9%.
The risks of prostate artery embolization
Like any medical procedure, PAE has some risks and potential complications. The most common include bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction. There is also a small risk of erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence. To learn more about the possible risks, talk to our team.
Is prostate artery embolization right for you?
PAE could be a good option for you if you have moderate to severe urinary symptoms due to BPH and medications haven't worked well enough for you. It can also be a good option if you don’t want to undergo traditional surgical treatments.
However, PAE may not be right for men with prostate cancer or other medical conditions that affect blood flow. To find out if you’re a candidate, schedule an appointment with our team at South Florida Vascular Associates.
Call our offices in Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, or Plantation, Florida, or request an appointment online today.