Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) Quote from Harry H:

"I had two previous procedures for my BPH (prostate enlargement), and both failed after one year. So, I did some research and read journal articles from the U.S. and Europe because there are new procedures out there. Part of my decision-making process included the recovery time and potential adverse events from different procedures. TURP and other procedures may result in nerve damage that affects sexual function and may cause incontinence. Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) does not have those potential adverse events because there is no entry through the urethra. For older and sicker patients, some procedures may be too risky due to more intense anesthesia - and PAE requires less anesthesia and is lower risk.

After meeting with three different urologists, ranging in location from Richmond to Alexandria I decided to pursue PAE because it was a different approach and there wouldn't be potential negative outcomes like there could be with other procedures. With those, you just don't know what sort of dysfunction - or permanent dysfunction you could have.

I met with Dr. Elias, and he was very candid with me. He wasn't sure how dramatic the improvement would be because my prostate was enlarged, but not seriously enlarged. My thinking, because of the two previous failures, was that if it's 50-75% effective in five years, I'm going to be happy with it - and I could even repeat the procedure if needed.

I decided to move forward with scheduling the procedure but was overseas on vacation prior to getting it done. While I was on vacation, I had more questions and Dr. Elias made himself available on the phone to answer those questions. He has been a pleasure to work with. Even three to four days after the procedure, I was concerned about some bruising and pain, and I was able to call and get answers regarding my concerns.

Two to three weeks after the procedure, I noticed there was less obstruction, and I was able to empty my bladder more. Instead of getting up at least four times a night to go to the bathroom, I only get up twice. I have a watch that monitors my sleep patterns and I know how much I get up. I'll continue to track it and see if there is additional improvement and where I am one year later."

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the enlargement of the prostate in men, typically over the age of 50. This occurrence can cause a variety of uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms. Interventional Radiologists can use a minimally invasive procedure known as Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) to relieve symptoms for suffering patients.


  • Frequent urination
  • Pain when urinating
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Going to urinate at night often (nocturia)
  • Poor urine stream
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Blood in urine
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)
/ / / / /


Fortunately, treatments for PAE have progressed and now provide a quick recovery from a minimally invasive procedure.

Treatment Options

  • PAE is a minimally invasive, image guided procedure for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The procedure involves placing a small catheter inside the arteries supplying the prostate gland and injecting tiny microscopic beads to cut off its blood supply. Over time the prostate gland shrinks and allows for easier passage of urine from the bladder out the urethra.

Benefits of treatment

  • Least invasive procedure option
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Very low risk
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Little to no pain during recovery

Expected Outcomes

  • This is the least invasive outpatient procedure currently available for the treatment on BPH. All other surgical treatments require advancing an instrument through the urethra which comes with risk. Since it takes time for the prostate to shrink, the majority of PAE patients will see improvement from the procedure at earliest around 3-4 weeks after the procedure, with maximum improvement 3-6 months post procedure. Current medical data notes show very good and durable results at least 5 years out from the procedure.


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