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Who is a Good Candidate for Prostatic Artery Embolization?

Posted on January 11, 2024

The Food and Drug Administration now approves PAE, or prostatic artery embolization, as a treatment for BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia. (Also known as prostate enlargement.) Now, there are several ways to relieve the Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) associated with BPH, including lifestyle changes, medications, and even surgery. So, who is a good candidate for prostatic artery embolization? We'll explain in a minute. But first, let's take a closer look at what's involved with this procedure.

doctors discussing who is a candidate for prostate artery embolization

What does PAE involve?

Prostate artery embolization is a non-surgical procedure to alleviate the urinary symptoms associated with BPH. During the procedure, we use embolic materials (tiny particles that are safe for injection) to reduce blood flow to your prostate. By doing so, we can cause it to shrink, quickly relieving LUTS.

In order to get the particles to their target zone, we thread a thin wire through an artery in your wrist or groin, gaining access with a small incision. We then guide the wire toward your prostatic arteries with the help of advanced imaging. Once it's in the right spot, we inject the embolic materials and blood flow to your prostate is immediately reduced.

In total, this outpatient procedure lasts about two hours, and can be performed with moderate sedation. That means you'll be awake but comfortable, and you can avoid general anesthesia and hospitalization.

Who is a candidate for prostate artery embolization?

PAE is a minimally invasive procedure and comes with the risk of far less serious side effects than surgical procedures. However, some men may experience hematoria (temporary presence of blood in the urine), rectal bleeding, and the sudden inability to empter their bladders after PAE. As such, this procedure is not for men who are able to relieve BPH symptoms with lifestyle changes or with medications.

So, who is a candidate for prostate artery embolization? PAE is an option for men who suffer from BPH and who can't find symptom relief from other non-surgical procedures. Good PAE candidates also include men who prefer to or must avoid invasive surgical procedures. However, in order to be a candidate for prostate artery embolization, you must have acceptable kidney function.

Ready to see if PAE is your pathway to BPH relief? Click here to request an appointment with our prostate specialists in Texas. When you come into the office, we can determine your PAE candidacy!

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