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Everything You Need to Know About Prostate Artery Embolization

At least half of all men in America have an enlarged prostate by the time they reach age 60. And the numbers keep rising, with over 90% having the condition by eighty. Enlarged prostates may be common, but that doesn’t mean they can’t disrupt your life.

Enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), usually occurs with age. The condition affects your prostate, the small gland under your bladder and around the urethra that produces seminal fluid. Symptoms of BPH include:

If you’re struggling to live with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, board-certified radiologist, Dr. Andrew Doe at Alate Health in Houston, Texas, can help. Our practice offers one of the safest treatments for enlarged prostate available: prostate artery embolization (PAE). 

You don’t have to live with the uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about PAE and how it can help you! 

Prostate artery embolization (PAE) explained

Performed as an outpatient procedure, prostate artery embolization uses X-ray technology to treat your enlarged prostate. During the process, an interventional radiologist, like Dr. Doe and Dr. Maneevese at Alate Health, makes a small incision in your wrist or groin and inserts a small catheter with a balloon at the end. 

Your provider releases microspheres, or microscopic plastic beads, into the artery where they travel to the vein that brings blood and nourishment to your prostate. As they lodge in place, they restrict the supply of blood to the gland. Your provider uses imaging technology to ensure the correct placement of the beads.

Your provider then repeats the procedure on the other side. The entire process takes about 2-3 hours. You won’t need general anesthesia, so you can go home when your PAE is complete, and you can expect to recover within 1-2 days. 

What happens after PAE?

After your PAE, your prostate gland shrinks because of the reduced blood supply. Your symptoms improve quickly, within days, and PAE brings with it many benefits, including:

Unlike other treatments, with PAE, there isn’t a limit on the size of the prostate eligible for treatment. 

How successful is PAE?

Prostate artery embolization enjoys an extremely high success rate. Over 90% of men report having a tremendous improvement in their condition within the first year after their procedure. PAE also has a strong long-term success rate, with the gross majority of patients still enjoying success three years and more after treatment. 

Learn more about prostate artery embolization and whether it’s the right treatment for you by contacting Alate Health in Houston at 713-893-0650 or request an appointment online today!

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