Safe, non-surgical prostate treatment with no risk of incontinence or impotence
What is prostatic artery embolization?
Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally-invasive treatment for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Tiny particles are injected into a specific artery using a microscopic catheter. The particles reduce the blood flow into the prostate, causing it to shrink.
What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?
BPH is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland and is very common in men. In fact, by age 50, 50% of men will develop BPH, and the chance you will develop BPH continues to increase as you age. Beginning in your 40’s, the prostate begins to grow, pinching the urethra and making it harder to urinate.
What are the risk factors for developing BPH?
The main risk factor for developing BPH is age. Other factors include:
- Family History
- Diabetes and Heart Disease
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BPH?
The severity of symptoms in people who have BPH can vary, but symptoms tend to gradually worsen over time.
Common signs and symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
Less common signs and symptoms include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
The size of your prostate doesn't necessarily determine the severity of your symptoms. Some men with only slightly enlarged prostates can have significant symptoms, while other men with very enlarged prostates can have only minor urinary symptoms.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BPH?
If you are diagnosed with BPH, schedule an exam with VIE to determine if you are a candidate for a prostate artery embolization.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR BPH?
There are a wide variety of treatment options for BPH including:
- Medication: drugs such as alpha blockers relax muscles in your prostate to make urination easier and prevent hormonal changes that cause prostate growth.
- Various minimally invasive procedures such as:
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
- Laser therapy
- Prostatic urethral lift (PUL)
- Embolization (we do)
IS PAE AN ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY?
Yes! Prostate artery embolization only requires a small incision in the arm or groin and can be performed in an outpatient center, so no hospital visit is necessary.
Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Cumming will partner with you and/or your existing care team (ex: primary care, urologist) to determine if you’re a candidate for PAE.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PAE?
Prostate artery embolization offers the lowest complication rate of any procedure for BPH. It also eliminates the typical risks of other BPH procedures such as: impotence, sexual dysfunction, incontinence, and urine leakage. It does not require the placement of a bladder catheter.
HOW IS PAE PERFORMED?
A small incision is made in the arm or groin, through which a microscopic catheter is guided to the arteries supplying the prostate. Tiny beads or coils are then injected into the arteries, reducing the blood flow into the prostate causing the entire prostate gland to shrink.
AM I A PAE CANDIDATE?
If you have been diagnosed with BPH, and it has a negative impact on your everyday life, you are a candidate for prostatic artery embolization.
Here's what you can expect from your visit:
- CONSULTATION: Symptom review and health history discussion.
- IMAGING: Prior to your procedure we often image the prostate using ultrasound, CT, or MRI.
- TREATMENT PLAN: A comprehensive review of all symptoms, exams and imaging enable Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Cumming to provide definitive treatment recommendations. Ultimately, patients choose their preferred option.