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Prostate Artery Embolization

The PAE procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist (IR), a doctor who uses X-rays and other advanced imaging to see inside the body and treat conditions without surgery. As the prostate gets larger, it may constrict or partially block the urethra, causing lower urinary tract symptoms including:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Irritative voiding symptoms
  • Increased urinary frequency, urgency and pain with urination

These symptoms not only cause discomfort but can interfere with quality of life.

How do I know if prostatic artery embolization is right for me?

The PAE procedure is for men who are either not able to or not interested in traditional surgery. An exam with an interventional radiologist can determine if PAE is right for you. At this appointment, you may be asked how often you have urinary symptoms of BPH, how severe they are, and how much they affect your quality of life.

Pre-procedure workup may include:

  • Urine test (urinalysis)
  • Digital rectal exam to help assess the size of your prostate
  • In some cases, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is done to help rule out prostate cancer.
  • An MRI or ultrasound of the prostate gland

What happens during prostatic artery embolization?

  • PAE is performed by an interventional radiologist (IR). An interventional radiologist is a physician who uses X-rays and other imaging techniques to see inside the body and treat conditions without surgery.
  • A Foley catheter (a thin, hollow tube held in place with a balloon at the end) may be inserted into your urethra and positioned in your bladder to provide a reference point for the surrounding anatomy.
  • PAE is performed through a small catheter inserted by your interventional radiologist into the artery in your wrist or groin. The interventional radiologist will then guide the catheter into the vessels that supply blood to your prostate.
  • An arteriogram (an X-ray in which dye is injected into the blood vessels) is done to map the blood vessels feeding your prostate.
  • Tiny round microspheres (particles) are injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels that feed your prostate to reduce its blood supply.
  • The interventional radiologist will move the catheter in order to treat the other side of your prostate, repeating the steps above.
  • Following this procedure, the prostate will begin to shrink, relieving and improving symptoms, usually within days of the procedure.

Our Approach to PAE

What are the risks of prostatic artery embolization?

PAE should only be performed by knowledgeable and trained interventional radiologists. Patients may experience “post-PAE syndrome” for days following the procedure, which can include nausea, vomiting, fever, pelvic pain, or painful or frequent urination.

Next Steps

Here are some tips to help you get the most from a visit to your interventional radiologist:

  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the names of treatments or tests, and any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.

To schedule an appointment with one of Jupiter Medical Center’s Interventional Radiologists please call 561-263-4416.

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