Did you know that half of men 50 and older struggle with enlarged prostate, or BPH, and its uncomfortable symptoms?

  • Frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • Getting up several times in the night to urinate
  • Urination that produces a small amount of urine and feels incomplete
  • Leaking or dribbling urine
  • Occasional pain when urinating
  • Not being able to urinate at all due to obstruction

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What is enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)?

The cells of the prostate grow throughout your life, increasing its size. As you get older, it may grow enough to compress the urethra, making it difficult to pass urine from the bladder. While benign (noncancerous), these symptoms can make life uncomfortable.

Men with enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) are all too familiar with feeling the need to urinate frequently and urgently, scouting out bathroom locations, getting up many times in the night, and even having pain and bleeding with urination.

ARA wants you to be aware that you can get relief with a simple, nonsurgical treatment that allows you to rediscover life without pain and discomfort and that also preserves the prostate’s sexual function. If you are considering TURP surgery, you should find out more about prostate artery embolization as a treatment option.

Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a new treatment option that is especially promising for patients that have failed medication therapy or surgery, or prefer to avoid surgery.

How does PAE work to relieve BPH symptoms?

It’s all about shrinking the prostate. When the prostate shrinks, urine flows freely.

Enlarged prostate PAE 1

1. When the prostate is enlarged, it constricts the urethra making urination difficult. PAE is a nonsurgical way of reducing the size of the prostate.

Catherization PAE 2

2. The procedure begins with the insertion of a catheter into the femoral artery at the groin. The catheter is advanced through the blood vessels until reaching the arteries of the prostate.

Embolization beads PAE 3

3. Small beads are released through the catheter into the small blood vessels that supply the prostate, block the flow of blood.

Embolization beads PAE 4

4. The procedure is done on both sides.

Post PAE Prostate PAE 5

5. With a lowered blood supply, the prostate shrinks over time and there is less pressure on the urethra, allowing urine to flow freely.

Get started on the path to relief with a PAE consult.

You can make steps toward treatment right now by getting in touch with our interventional coordinators at the contacts below. They will discuss prostate artery embolization (PAE) with you and see if it might be the right procedure to relieve your symptoms.

If so, we will help you make an appointment with an ARA interventional radiologist who will discuss your treatment options. It is also recommended that you maintain visits with your urologist before and after your procedure.

Prior to the procedure, you will get a CT of the pelvis and possibly other imaging as required.

What is it like to have prostate artery embolization?

Before the procedure, you will be given a sedative medication, similar to that given for a colonoscopy, which is often referred to as “twilight sleep.” There is no need for general anesthesia. The procedure is not considered painful and some patients elect to have no sedation.

Before the procedure, you will be given a sedative medication, similar to that given for a colonoscopy, which is often referred to as “twilight sleep.” There is no need for general anesthesia. The procedure is not painful and some patients elect to have no sedation.

To perform PAE, surgeons guide a catheter through an artery in the groin to deposit tiny beads in the vessels supplying blood to the prostate, blocking the vessels. With the blood supply blocked, the prostate shrinks, decreasing the pressure on the urethra that causes symptoms.

Most often patients are discharged from the clinic or hospital three hours after the procedure, but sometimes it may be necessary to stay overnight.

Greater than 90% success rate

Results are very promising with greater than 90 percent of patients seeing extreme improvement. Approximately 7 percent of patients see moderate improvement and 1 to 2 percent may see no improvement. A benefit of PAE is that if BPH symptoms do reoccur, PAE can be repeated with success.

Will my insurance cover this procedure?

Generally, insurance companies will pay for prostate artery embolization if they cover prostate surgery. Our interventional case coordinators will help you navigate the insurance process.

Talk to an ARA interventional coordinator about scheduling a consultation

Take a quick survey now to see your prostate health score:

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For more information, please contact interventional case coordinators at 512.467.9729. Patient and physicians can fax materials to 512.343.9099.

Get a better understanding of prostate artery embolization by watching this video:

The UNC Center for Heart and Vascular Care has produced an explanatory video about prostate artery embolization.

Articles on prostate artery embolization

Prostate Artery Embolization Safe and Effective – Medscape

Prostate Embolization Relieves Nighttime Waking – Science Daily

New Treatment for Enlarged Prostate – Science Daily