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Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat bladder outlet obstruction and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) related to an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

PAE blocks the blood flow to the prostate in order to shrink it and thereby help to improve urination.  Your interventional radiologist will thread a small catheter (flexible tube) into your prostatic artery. Then, he will inject tiny particles (embolics) into the catheter. These particles will block the blood flow to the prostate, which will help to shrink it.

Studies have shown that PAE is effective in reducing prostate size, improving urinary flow and improving overall quality of life.  PAE has similar effectiveness to the surgical procedure TURP, however, PAE has fewer side-effects than TURP.

Before your procedure

Prior to your procedure you will have a urodynamic testing and PSA levels checked at your urologist’s office.  You will also have an MRI.  These tests are to make sure that there is nothing else causing your symptoms besides your BPH.  You will also have a urinary catheter placed by your urologist prior to your procedure.

On the day of the procedure, you will have an IV line placed in your arm. You may get medication through your IV that will make you feel drowsy. The medication will control pain and anxiety.  

During your procedure

An artery in your groin or wrist will be chosen using ultrasound-guidance.  The area will be cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic (lidocaine/novocaine).

The interventional radiologist will guide the catheter into both the left and right prostatic arteries using fluoroscopy (video x-ray).  He will then use dye to confirm that the catheter is in the correct place.  Once the catheter is in place, the interventional radiologist will inject the particles until he sees that the blood flow to the prostate has been adequately stopped.

At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and the site will be covered with a dressing.

After your procedure

You will stay in our recovery area for between 2 and 4 hours to make sure you are fully awake and feeling well following the procedure.  Additionally, if we access through an artery in your groin, you will need to lay down while you are in the recovery area and keep that leg straight.

At home

You may experience “post-embolization syndrome,” which can include the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting  
  • Pain is the most common side effect that can occur, because the blood supply to the treated area is cut off
  • These side effects usually improve within 3 to 5 days and may be improved with medication
  • Blood in your urine and/or sperm
  • Pain with urination and/or ejaculation
  • You may also experience a low-grade fever, lethargy and fatigue that could last up to 1 week
  • You should tell your doctor if these symptoms last more than 10 days

Do not get the access site wet for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, you can shower, but should still avoid getting the site wet.  You should not take a bath or swim for at least 7 days.

For 5 days after your procedure, don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds and do not engage in any rigorous exercise.  You may do usual light activities after 24 hours.

Call Your Doctor if you have:

  • A fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.
  • Pain, nausea, or vomiting that is uncontrolled.
  • Redness, swelling, or bleeding around the procedure site.
  • Any symptoms that are worrying you.
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Our mission at NY Imaging Specialists is to provide the highest-quality advanced imaging in a patient-centered and compassionate environment, with the comfort and convenience of being close to home.

Call to schedule an appointment at 833-269-4624.