Minimally Invasive Prostate Surgery Performed at TGH

Prostate artery embolization, or PAE, is minimally invasive prostate surgery that is performed on an outpatient basis under light sedation. For many men who are dealing with the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, this may be a viable treatment option.

Symptoms of BPH arise when the prostate becomes enlarged, which happens naturally as men age.  The urethra – the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis – passes through the prostate, so the bigger the prostate becomes the more it presses against the urethra. This pressure disrupts the flow of urine and leads to symptoms that can include difficulty urinating, a weak urine stream, a frequent urge to urinate, and urinary incontinence.

Minimally invasive PAE does not require an overnight hospital stay because it can relieve troubling BPH symptoms without any cutting, use of a laser, or tissue removal. During PAE, a surgeon inserts a catheter through an incision in the wrist to deposit tiny beads into the vessels that supply blood to the prostate. With the blood supply blocked, the prostate shrinks, sometimes by as much as 50 percent, which takes pressure off the urethra and improves urinary function. PAE is a more suitable treatment option for men who have a significantly enlarged prostate or a prostate size that is considered higher risk for traditional prostate surgery.

Patients spend less than six hours in the hospital for a PAE procedure and can quickly return to normal activities with the help of over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Additionally, PAE significantly reduces the risk of side effects associated with traditional prostate surgery, such as impotence and urinary tract infections. Some patients may experience post-procedure groin soreness, but this usually lessens after one to three days.

Tampa General Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the United States to offer this minimally invasive prostate surgery. To begin the process of determining whether you are a suitable candidate for prostate artery embolization, contact our PAE program coordinator at (813) 539-5995 or fill out our online form.