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UCI Health offers non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure for enlarged prostate

Prostate artery embolization gaining popularity as a treatment for BPH

May 14, 2019

UCI Health is now offering a non-surgical treatment for men with prostate enlargement. Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure to treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Since becoming available in Europe and Brazil, the procedure has rapidly gained popularity in the U.S. since FDA approval in 2017.

“The procedure works by limiting blood flow to the enlarged prostate gland, thereby reducing its size without the risks of traditional surgery,” said James Katrivesis, MD, a UCI Health interventional radiologist and assistant clinical professor in the UCI School of Medicine. “PAE is an alternative to surgery that requires no hospital stay and has little post-operative pain. Symptom improvement can be similar to surgery without the sexual or ejaculatory side effects commonly seen with surgery.”

Enlarged prostate, or BPH, is a condition common in older men. At least half of men over 60 will experience symptoms, including frequent urge to urinate, especially at night; leakage or dribbling of urine; a weak urine stream and trouble beginning urination. 

The primary traditional treatment when medications are ineffective for severe urinary symptoms related to BPH is transurethral resection of the prostate, which may be associated with side effects. PAE is known to have fewer side effects, especially sexual/ejaculatory dysfunction, and can be performed with minimal to no recovery. In addition, PAE can be performed on any size prostate and even in some patients whose prior prostate surgery has failed.

UCI Health has treated more than 50 men with PAE in the last year, since becoming one of the country’s first academic medical centers to offer the FDA-approved procedure. 

Arterial embolization has been used for decades to control blood flow and bleeding. Using X-ray guidance, an interventional radiologist inserts a small catheter into an artery and injects small particles to partially block blood flow. In the PAE procedure, the catheter is threaded to arteries that supply the prostate gland. The embolization reduces the size of the prostate and relieves symptoms of BPH. 

Men with BPH who are interested in receiving this treatment may call (714) 363-1453 or make an online appointment request at: http://www.ucihealth.org/medical-services/radiology/interventional-radiology/appointment-request

UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, California. The 417-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.