Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization is a treatment option that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Instead of surgery, tiny plastic beads are used to plug the arteries causing the prostate enlargement.

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UC Health is the only health system in the region with specialists, such as urologists and vascular-interventional radiologists, that can offer this minimally invasive treatment for patients with BPH.

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Answers to Your Questions about Prostate Artery Embolization

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE ) is a minimally invasive treatment that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is characterized as an enlargement of the prostate caused by blood flow from specific arteries.

The PAE procedure is performed by a vascular- interventional radiologist (IR), a physician who specializes in using X-rays and special equipment through your blood vessels to treat the condition without surgery. 

The process involves the use of microscopic plastic beads, which are released into the arteries that feed into the prostate gland, to permanently plug the blood flow that is contributing to the enlargement.

PAE is an outpatient procedure that takes about two hours. In most circumstances, patients are expected to go home within the same day.

All men with diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), who experience symptoms that are not controlled well by medication, may want to consider this treatment option. 

In addition, patients who are not able to or do not want to undergo invasive surgical treatments, including transurethral interventions, or have risk associated with surgery, should consider this option.

Furthermore, PAE is a good option for patients who would like to preserve sexual function, which seperates this proceadure from surgical interventions.

The following are benefits of PAE over other surgical options:

  • It is a minimally invasive procedure performed under local anesthesia with moderate sedation.
  • It is more comfortable for the patient, as nothing goes through the penile urethra.

  • It is a safe and effective treatment option for benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms.

  • There is a unique modality that maintains erectile and sexual functions, in comparison to some other surgical interventions. This decreases the likelihood of certain side effects such as: 

    • Incidence of retrograde ejaculation.

    • Risk of bleeding.

As an academic medical center, UC Health offers a wide variety of minimally invasive procedures. 

BPH is evaluated by a team of experts of urologists and vascular-interventional radiologists to ensure we’re offering the best treatment option for our patients. PAE is performed in our  state-of-the-art angiography suite using leading-edge technology to ensure successful outcomes.

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