Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

A Minimally Invasive Alternative to Prostate Surgery

Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment for benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH, that may help men avoid prostate surgery. The Interventional Radiology (IR) physicians at Rochester Regional Health use PAE to improve lower urinary tract symptoms using a state-of-the-art outpatient procedure.

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What is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)?

An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a very common disorder in men over the age of 50.  The prostate gland wraps around the urethra which is the small tube that drains the urine from the bladder through the penis.  As the prostate enlarges it compresses the urethra and base of the bladder which leads to difficulty urinating. 

The most common lower urinary tract symptoms include weak urine stream, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and frequent urination.  This can become a significant detractor in quality of life.

What is Prostate Artery Embolization?

Prostate artery embolization is a cutting-edge, minimally invasive treatment now offered at Rochester Regional Health (RRH) which treats BPH. This procedure is performed by an Interventional Radiologist and is an excellent option for patients that cannot undergo surgery or desire a non-surgical option.  

PAE is an outpatient procedure performed by one of our experienced interventional radiologists that do not require general anesthesia. It is done with IV sedation and local anesthesia. A thin catheter is inserted into the artery in the wrist or groin and the catheter is steered into the small arteries supplying the prostate by using advanced imaging guidance. Once the catheter is within the artery supplying the gland, tiny gelatin particles are injected to slow the blood flow to the prostate.

Over the next several months, the prostate begins to shrink, and urinary tract symptoms begin to improve within weeks.  The side effects are mild, and most men see no impact on sexual function.

Who is a Candidate for Prostatic Artery Embolization?

Swollen prostates can compress and narrow your urethra, causing urinary tract symptoms like urinary incontinence, loss of bladder control, and pain upon urination. If you have been diagnosed with BPH and experience symptoms that are not well-controlled by medication, you may be a candidate for prostatic artery embolization.

Candidates for the procedure meet the following conditions:

  • Men typically between the ages of 50 and 85
  • Experience lower urinary tract symptoms (difficulty urinating, frequent urination, urinary retention requiring catheterization)
  • Screened for prostate cancer risk
  • Tried but been unsuccessful with medication therapy
  • Not a good candidate for surgery or want to avoid prostate surgery

What Should I Expect?

At Rochester Regional Health, our IR team will see you at your consultation and speak with you to determine whether you are a good candidate, including a physical exam and ordering any lab work and imaging studies. After this, we will discuss all of your options.

There are several options to treat BPH, and our Interventional Radiology team will work with you and your Urologist to determine what is best. Our team’s philosophy is patient-centered care.  Each patient has a unique situation and deserves a treatment that is specific to their needs.

interventional Radiology team shot
Interventional Radiology team in the operating room. 

Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed at Rochester General Hospital in our state-of-the-art interventional radiology suites. It is an outpatient procedure, which means men typically go home the same day after the procedure and a few hours of observation. The procedure is typically well-tolerated with a short recovery period. Within a few days, you should be able to return to your routine activities.

female doctor illustration

Contact the Interventional Radiology Team Today

Call (585) 922-5833 to schedule your prostatic artery embolization consultation today or fill our online form.
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