Patient Guide to Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)
Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure designed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common condition where the prostate gland enlarges, causing symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, and difficulty in urination.
PAE aims to reduce the symptoms associated with BPH by targeting the blood vessels that supply the enlarged prostate.
Understanding Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)
PAE is performed by our interventional radiologist, a specialized physician trained in using imaging guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures.
During PAE, a catheter is inserted through a small incision, usually in the groin or wrist, and guided to the arteries supplying the prostate. Tiny particles or embolic agents are then injected into these arteries to block blood flow selectively, leading to a reduction in the size of the prostate.
Who is a Good Candidate for Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)?
PAE may be considered for individuals who:
Have BPH Symptoms:
Experience symptoms such as frequent urination, urgency, weak urinary stream, or difficulty initiating urination.
Seek Minimally Invasive Treatment:
Prefer a less invasive alternative to traditional surgical procedures for BPH.
Desire to Preserve Sexual Function:
Want to preserve sexual function, as PAE has been shown to have a minimal impact on sexual function compared to some surgical treatments.
Wish to Avoid General Anesthesia:
Prefer to undergo a procedure without the need for general anesthesia, as PAE is typically performed under conscious sedation.
Have Failed Conservative Treatments:
Have not found relief from BPH symptoms with medications or lifestyle changes.
The decision to undergo PAE is individualized and based on a thorough evaluation.
PAE is a minimally invasive procedure, requiring only a small incision for catheter insertion.
Preservation of Sexual Function:
PAE is associated with a lower risk of sexual side effects compared to some surgical treatments for BPH.
PAE is often performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to go home on the same day.
Reduced Recovery Time:
Recovery time is generally shorter compared to traditional surgical interventions for BPH.
Avoidance of General Anesthesia:
PAE is typically performed under conscious sedation, avoiding the need for general anesthesia in many cases.
Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) FAQ’s
Q. How long does the PAE procedure take?
A. The procedure typically takes about 1 to 2 hours, although the overall time may vary.
Q. Is PAE painful?
A. Patients may experience mild discomfort, but anesthesia is administered to minimize pain during the procedure.
Q. What is the recovery time after PAE?
A. Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days, although recovery times may vary.
Q. Can PAE be repeated if needed?
A. In some cases, a repeat PAE may be considered if symptoms return or worsen over time.
Q. Are there risks associated with PAE?
A. As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks, including infection or damage to
surrounding structures. Complications, however, are rare.
Q. Can PAE cause sexual dysfunction?
A. PAE is associated with a lower risk of sexual side effects compared to some surgical treatments for BPH.
Q. Can PAE be performed on all types of BPH?
A. PAE is effective for various types and sizes of BPH, but individual cases may vary.
Q. Is PAE covered by insurance?
A. Coverage may vary, and it is advisable to check with insurance providers regarding specific coverage for PAE.
Q. Can PAE treat all BPH symptoms?
A. PAE is effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, and difficulty in urination, but individual responses may vary.
Q. How long does it take to see results after PAE?
A. Improvement in symptoms may occur gradually over several weeks to months as the prostate shrinks in size.
Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) is a promising and effective option for men experiencing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) who seek a less invasive alternative to traditional surgical treatments.
If you or someone you know is considering PAE, consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss potential benefits, risks, and alternatives. A personalized evaluation will help determine the most suitable treatment approach based on individual health conditions and preferences.
Please contact the Vascular Institute of Ohio friendly office staff for an appointment or consultation with one of our physicians.