Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)  

Prostatic artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that can treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate.      
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH or an enlarged prostate, is a common condition that affects approximately 50% of men in their 50s and as many as 90% of men in their 80s. Even moderate cases of BPH can produce unpleasant symptoms, including frequent urination and difficulty starting to urinate. In more severe cases, it can lead to a urinary tract blockage, which can cause infection and kidney problems.  Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a potential BPH treatment option for men who don’t find symptom relief through medications and men who have a significantly enlarged prostate. 

What Are the Benefits of Prostatic Artery Embolization? 

When compared with surgical treatments such as an open prostatectomy and a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a prostatic artery embolization offers a variety of benefits, including: 

  • No hospital stay
  • A shorter recovery time 
  • Low risk of affecting sexual performance 
  • No retrograde ejaculation
  • No catheterization requirements 
  • Decreased pain and discomfort 

PAE Details  

PAE is an outpatient procedure that is performed with a local anesthetic and mild sedation. A small incision is made in the patient’s upper thigh or wrist, and a small catheter is inserted into an artery and guided to the arteries that supply blood to the enlarged prostate. Tiny microspheres are then injected into the blood vessels to reduce the blood supply reaching the prostate. The same procedure is performed on both sides of the prostate, and the reduced blood flow to the prostate causes it to shrink, relieving pressure on the urethra.  

What to Expect With a PAE 

Unlike some treatment options that involve the complete removal of the prostate, a PAE takes time to work. Patients may not see symptom relief for one to two months, and urinary function may continue to improve for up to six months.  

How Effective Is Prostatic Artery Embolization? 

Studies about the success rate of PAE indicate that up to 80% of men who undergo the procedure report satisfactory improvement. Some patients may not achieve their desired results due to the size of the arteries feeding their prostate or an inherent weakness in their bladder that doesn’t resolve once the prostate shrinks.   

Tampa General Hospital is a pioneer in the PAE surgical procedure. Our multidisciplinary team, including surgeons, physicians and other specialists, utilizes the latest advancements in diagnostic and treatment technologies to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients.