Prostate enlargement is a very common, non-cancerous condition that can cause urinary and bladder problems in men as they age. If left untreated, it could also cause more serious conditions.
If you’re like most men, your prostate will naturally enlarge as you age. Symptoms may include:
- Weak or slow urinary stream
- Pain when urinating
- Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Difficulty starting urination
- Frequency and/or urgency to urinate
- A stream that starts and stops
At SLUCare Physicians Group, our doctors are among the most highly trained specialists renowned for their research and innovations in medicine – including how to treat prostate complications. Before you make a decision for a surgical procedure, consider getting a second opinion from one of our physicians to see if prostate artery embolization could benefit you.
What is Prostate Artery Embolization?
Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a cutting-edge, minimally-invasive technique. This image guided procedure offers men an alternative to traditional therapies that can sometimes have unwanted side effects, such as sexual dysfunction. PAE works by shrinking the enlarged prostate, relieving symptoms without surgery or side effects like sexual dysfunction, incontinence, retrograde ejaculation (ejaculation into the bladder) or bleeding. A vascular interventional radiologist, a board-certified specialist with expertise in treating enlarged prostate, performs this type of procedure.
How Does PAE Work?
PAE begins with a tiny incision in the wrist or groin. This incision provides the physician access to arteries that feed the prostate. Using specialized X-ray equipment, your physician passes a catheter (small tube) into the prostatic artery, and guides it near the location of the enlarged prostate. Small spheres are injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels feeding the enlarged prostate, reducing the flow of oxygenated blood, thus shrinking the prostate.
Once treated, the microscopic tools are removed and a Band-Aid® is applied. The entire PAE treatment typically lasts 3 - 4 hours. Most patients return home the same day, and after a couple of days of rest, return to work and normal activities.
Benefits to PAE
There are many benefits to PAE. Our success rate is up to 92%. Advantages include:
- No side effects of surgery, such as bleeding
- Preserves the prostate
- Dramatically improves quality of life
- Maintains sexual function
We are minimally invasive image-guided specialists, and our wrist-based approach gets you back on your feet faster. SLUCare Physicians Group specialists are among a handful of providers in the country offering PAE through an artery in the wrist rather than the groin. This enhances patient comfort, shortens recovery time and reduces complications.
Our physicians pioneered PAE in the Midwest. SLUCare Interventional Radiology performed the first PAE for a physician in 2014. Today, we are one of the only clinics in the Midwest offering this minimally invasive approach to treating enlarged prostate.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation with one of our renowned SLUCare physicians, contact us today.