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Many men over the age of 50 have to deal with a common issue: an enlarged prostate known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Approximately half of males between the ages of 50 and 60 develop this condition, increasing as men get older. An enlarged prostate is not only uncomfortable, but it also can affect ejaculation and slow the flow of urine. Men with enlarged prostates may eventually require treatment, but an enlarged prostate is not in and of itself life-threatening. If you are experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostate, prostate artery embolization (PAE) may be right for you.
Prostate artery embolization is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedure which can be an alternative to surgery. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist that can improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. The procedure involves releasing tiny particles into the arteries that supply the prostate, which reduces the blood allowing the prostate shrink. Patients who opt for PAE have quick recovery and high rate of satisfaction, without sexual side effects or urinary incontinence. Another advantage of PAE, as opposed to surgical alternatives, it does not require an indwelling foley catheter after the intervention which many men find uncomfortable.
Prostate artery embolization is used to treat men with enlarged prostates. Though enlarged prostates are not life-threatening, they can hinder a man’s daily life. Men with this condition often encounter urinary and sexual issues. They can also experience slow and frequent urination. Typical treatments for enlarged prostates can potentially result in severe sexual dysfunction including retrograde ejaculation. PAE is shown to have a good side effect profileand is safe and effective.
The procedure is performed under X-Ray guidance by making a pinhole puncture into a vessel at the top of the leg or wrist. During the procedure, microscopic particles are released into the arteries that feed the prostate gland through a tiny catheter which is the size of a spaghetti. The particles occlude the prostatic arteries and block off the excess blood flow to the prostate. After the procedure the enlarged prostate will shink over weeks to months. This procedure does not require general anesthesia because patients experience minimal pain. This is an outpatient procedure with no hospital stay. Most patients have minor post procedure discomfort with quick recovery recovery time before returning to their usual activity.