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Half of men 50 and older struggle with enlarged prostate, or BPH, and its uncomfortable symptoms.


Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a nonsurgical, leading-edge effective treatment for an enlarged prostate that preserves much of the prostate and has a quick recovery period. It offers a low-risk of urinary incontinence and sexual side effects and greater than 90% of patients see significant improvement in symptoms.


What are the signs you have an enlarged prostate?


  • 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


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


The cells in your prostate continue to grow throughout your life, increasing its size. As you age, it may grow large enough to press on the urethra, making it difficult to pass urine from the bladder. While benign (noncancerous), these symptoms can make life uncomfortable. You may experience the need to urinate frequently and urgently, constantly scouting out bathroom locations, getting up many times in the night, and having pain and bleeding with urination.

More details on prostate artery embolization.

Who is at risk?

The effects of an enlarged prostate are benign, meaning not harmful or connected to the development of cancer. Those at risk include:

  • Male patients over the age of 40
  • Patients with a family history of BPH
  • Obese patients
  • Diabetics or patients taking certain medications

What is prostate artery embolization (PAE) treatment?

Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally-invasive, leading-edge treatment for an enlarged prostate performed with local anesthesia at our outpatient clinic.  An interventional radiologist inserts a catheter into the groin through a tiny nick in the skin and guides the catheter through the vascular system using moving X-ray as guidance to reach the prostate.  Once positioned, tiny beads are deposited into the vessels supplying blood to the prostate, blocking them. With the blood supply blocked, the prostate shrinks, decreasing the pressure on the urethra and relieving symptoms.

More details on prostate artery embolization.

What are the benefits of PAE?

  • Quicker and more comfortable recovery
  • Outpatient clinic procedure versus hospital stay
  • Local anesthesia versus general anasthesia
  • Low risk of urinary incontence
  • Low risk of sexual side effects

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.

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.

More details on prostate artery embolization.

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.

Protecting You From Coronavirus

In order to minimize the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), ARA has made adjustments to our care processes. This includes screening patients and employees, enhanced cleaning services, limiting visitors to the clinics, and maintaining social distancing. MASKS ARE REQUIRED.

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