Did you know that an enlarged prostate affects at least 50% of all American men by the age of 60 and over 90% by age 80? If you’re struggling with the negative symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, board-certified radiologist Dr. Andrew Doe and the team at Alate Heath want to help.
Our practice offers prostate artery embolization (PAE) to men in Houston, Texas, suffering the ill effects of an enlarged prostate. Regarded as one of the safest treatment options available, PAE can provide lasting relief for your symptoms.
We know you may have questions about PAE and how successful it is at treating enlarged prostate, so we’ve put together this helpful guide. Read on to learn more!
What is an enlarged prostate?
The prostate gland, located under the bladder and surrounding the urethra, is responsible for the production of seminal fluid. Many older men experience growth in their prostate as they age, leading to benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or an enlarged prostate gland.
As the gland enlarges, it constricts the urethra and puts pressure on the bladder leading to uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Inability to urinate
- Inability to fully empty your bladder
- Dribbling after urination
- Frequent urges to urinate at night (2 or more times)
- Pain with urination
- Straining with urination
- Delayed start when urinating
- Weak or slow urine stream
BPH can cause sudden and strong urges to urinate and, in severe cases, urinary tract infections (UTIs), damage to the kidney and bladder, and bladder stones.
What is prostate artery embolization (PAE)?
Prostate artery embolization is a relatively new outpatient procedure that uses X-ray technology to treat an enlarged prostate. The procedure started to be performed in 2012 and has grown in popularity since then.
During PAE, an interventional radiologist, like Dr. Doe, accesses the blood vessels that feed your prostate and restrict the supply of blood. Dr. Doe makes a small incision in the wrist or groin, then releases microscopic plastic beads (microspheres) into the arteries. These beads travel to your prostatic arteries, and, once in place, they block off the flow of blood that is the cause of the gland’s enlargement.
What is the success rate of PAE?
Prostate artery embolization has a high rate of success, with over 90% of men experiencing relief in the first year. Unlike other treatments that may have unwanted sexual side effects, PAE does not affect sexual performance.
What’s more? Additional research indicates that PAE also has long-term success in treating an enlarged prostate. A recent review of men treated with PAE found 82% were still enjoying a successful PAE three years after their procedure, and about 78% had success following the 3-year mark.
Am I a candidate for PAE?
The right treatment plan for your enlarged prostate depends on your unique symptoms, overall health, and age. Dr. Doe evaluates the size of your prostate and other health factors to design a course of treatment to meet your needs.
While the most common treatment for enlarged prostate is medication, you may be a candidate for PAE if:
- Your BPH is not well controlled with medications
- You are eligible for other surgeries for benign enlarged prostate but prefer a less invasive alternative
- Your prostate is too enlarged for other surgeries
- Previous surgeries have proved unsuccessful in treating your BPH
Patients who are allergic to contrast dye or who do not have functioning kidneys are not eligible for PAE.
If you’re tired of dealing with the side effects of an enlarged prostate, PAE might be the solution you’ve been looking for. Learn more by contacting the specialists at Alate Health or request an appointment online now!