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Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment for enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the most common benign tumor found in men.

BPH symptoms

As the prostate grows larger, it can constrict the urethra and cause lower urinary tract symptoms such as:

  • Urinary incontinence, ranging from some leaking to complete loss of control
  • Intermittent voiding, hesitancy or straining
  • Increased urinary frequency and urgency
  • Pain with urination

Candidates for PAE

PAE is best for men who:

  • Have an enlarged prostate 
  • Have failed medical management of BPH
  • Bothersome urinary symptoms like waking up multiple times a night or going frequently throughout the day
  • Can't go more than an hour without needing to urinate
  • Are either ineligible or not interested in traditional surgery

Pre-procedure evaluation

If you are a candidate for the procedure, you will be evaluated by an interventional radiologist. This evaluation may include:

  • Urine test
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
  • MRI or ultrasound of the prostate gland

What happens during prostatic artery embolization?

A catheter is inserted into the artery in your wrist or groin and guided into the vessels that supply blood to the prostate. Once the catheter is in place, dye is injected into the vessels to map the blood vessels that feed the prostate.

Next FDA-approved embolization spheres are injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels that feed your prostate to reduce its blood supply.

After PAE, the prostate will shrink. Symptoms usually improve within a few weeks to a few months after the procedure.

Benefits of PAE

PAE offers several benefits over surgical procedures, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay and recovery time
  • Low risk of sexual side effects
  • Low risk of urinary incontinence
  • Catheterization is not usually needed
  • Decreased discomfort

Risks of PAE

Patients may experience "post-PAE syndrome" for a few days after the procedure. Most effects are mild and no hospital stay is required. The risks are lower than surgery. Symptoms can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful or frequent urination

Other risks include:

  • Hematoma at the incision site
  • Blood in the urine, semen or stool
  • Bladder spasm
  • Infection of the puncture site or prostate

To learn more about prostatic artery embolization, call 714-363-1453 or request an appointment online ›

Make an Appointment

714-363-1453