Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or Enlarged Prostate

As men age, their prostate gland can grow larger, putting pressure on the bladder and urethra, the vessel that carries urine from the bladder and outside of the body. It is one of the most common health problems men can experience, affecting half of all men between 51 and 60 years of age, and 90% of men older than 80.

An enlarging prostate causes a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In some cases, it can lead to painful urination, reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction and urinary continence or retention (the inability to urinate). A surgical treatment, called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is often recommended as a solution for BPH. However, this surgery has a high number of complications and sexual side effects are common.

A new procedure called prostate artery embolization (PAE) may be a better alternative for treating BPH. During the procedure, an interventional radiologist inserts a tiny catheter into an artery in your upper thigh or wrist and then uses medical imaging to guide it through the body’s blood vessels to the arteries supplying blood to the prostate. Tiny beads called ‘microspheres’ are released through the catheter and into the arteries, blocking blood flow to the prostate. With reduced blood flow, the prostate shrinks and symptoms are relieved.

Prostate Artery Embolization Preparation Instructions

  • Please inform us of all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to local anesthetic, medications or to contrast (also known as “x-ray dye”).
  • You may be advised to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Tylenol, Advil) or a blood thinning medication for a period of time before your procedure.
  • Please inform us about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, you may take your usual medications, especially blood pressure medications. These may be taken with some water in the morning before your procedure.
  • You may be instructed to refrain from eating or drinking anything for several hours before your procedure.
  • You may need to remain for a period of observation after your procedure.
  • You will be given a gown to change into before your procedure.

FAQ for Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. It involves blocking the blood flow to the prostate, causing it to shrink and relieve symptoms. At North Star Vascular and Interventional, we specialize in this cutting-edge procedure to help you feel better quickly.

The benefits of PAE can last for several years. The exact duration depends on each person’s condition and how they respond to the treatment. Our experts will ensure you receive the best follow-up care to maximize the lasting effects.

PAE is highly effective in reducing BPH symptoms. Most patients see a significant improvement in urinary symptoms and overall quality of life. Clinical studies show excellent success rates. Our team is dedicated to achieving the best results for you.

Insurance coverage for PAE varies. Contact your insurance provider to see if it’s included in your plan. We can assist you in verifying coverage and discussing payment options, ensuring you have all the information you need.

PAE works by inserting a tiny catheter into the arteries supplying the prostate. Using imaging guidance, small particles are injected to block blood flow, causing the prostate to shrink and symptoms to improve. Our experts at North Star Vascular and Interventional are highly skilled in performing this procedure safely and effectively.

PAE is a safe procedure with a low risk of complications. Serious issues are rare. Our providers will discuss all potential risks with you beforehand to ensure you’re fully informed and comfortable.

Possible side effects include mild pain, bruising, and swelling at the catheter site. Some patients may experience temporary urinary symptoms. Serious side effects, like infection or unintended blockage of other vessels, are rare. We’ll be with you every step of the way to monitor your recovery and address any concerns.

Yes, PAE can be repeated if symptoms return. Our experts will evaluate your condition and determine if a repeat procedure is necessary, ensuring you continue to get the relief you need.

Ideal candidates are those with moderate to severe BPH symptoms who haven’t responded to other treatments. Our team will review your medical history and imaging results to determine if PAE is right for you, providing personalized recommendations tailored to your situation.

PAE may not be suitable for patients with severe peripheral artery disease, certain infections, or allergies to embolization materials. Our experts will assess your specific situation to ensure the best possible outcome.

PAE offers several benefits over traditional surgical options. It is minimally invasive, meaning less pain, lower risk of complications, and a quicker recovery time. Unlike surgery, PAE typically does not require general anesthesia, and most patients can return home the same day. Additionally, there is nothing inserted through the urethra, making it much more comfortable. Pain is significantly less as well. At North Star Vascular and Interventional, we provide this advanced treatment to help you get back to your normal life faster and with fewer risks.

At North Star Vascular and Interventional, we put you at the center of our attention. Our care is customized to your needs, and our team of expert physicians are pioneers in these treatments. Our experts performed the first PAE in the U.S. more than a decade ago and have since trained many specialists in this procedure. Our friendly staff ensures you feel comfortable and well-informed every step of the way. Experience the best care and achieve excellent results with us. Contact us today to schedule your procedure or a clinic visit.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us at North Star Vascular and Interventional. We’re here to provide friendly, expert care and help you stay healthy and active.

Fill out the following questionnaire to see if you are a candidate for prostate artery embolization (PAE).

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For more information about enlarged prostate treatment for BPH at North Star Vascular please contact us.

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