Interventional Radiology Clinic located in Houston, TX
Approximately 25% of men have enlarged prostate symptoms by the time they reach age 55 — and these numbers double in men 75 and older. Andrew Doe, MD, founded Alate Health to bring the safest and most effective treatment options available to men in the Houston area, including treating benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) with prostate artery embolization (PAE). To see if prostate artery embolization can address your symptoms, call Alate Health or schedule an appointment online today.
Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) Q & A
What is benign prostatic hypertrophy?
Benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH, is the medical term for having an enlarged prostate gland. The prostate surrounds the urethra, in front of the rectum between the penis and bladder.
As men grow older, it’s common for their prostate to grow larger, constricting the urethra and leading to uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Difficulty and stopping urination
- Increased frequency or urgency to urinate
- A weak or intermittent urine stream
- Inability to fully empty the bladder
In addition to urination issues, BPH can sometimes cause urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder and kidney damage, or bladder stones.
How is BPH treated?
Treating BPH depends on several factors, including your age, overall health, the size of your prostate, and the severity of your symptoms. The most common treatment for mild or moderate BPH is medication.
For more severe BPH cases, your provider may recommend surgery. The experienced team of interventional radiologists at Alate Health offer prostate artery embolization, or PAE, an alternative treatment for benign prostatic hypertrophy.
What is prostate artery embolization (PAE)?
Also known as prostatic artery embolization, PAE uses X-ray technology to treat prostate enlargement.
During PAE, your interventional radiologist makes a small incision in your wrist or groin to access the blood vessels supplying your prostate. After inserting a small catheter, they inject an X-ray dye to map the blood vessels feeding your prostate.
To treat your prostate, your provider injects thousands of microscopic plastic beads, or microspheres, into the blood vessels to slow their blood supply, and then they remove your catheter. To treat your entire prostate, your interventional radiologist repeats this process on the other side of your body.
What can I expect from PAE?
PAE takes approximately two to three hours and doesn’t require general anesthesia. After having the prostate artery embolization at a state-of-the-art procedure suite at Alate Health, you can go home the same day. In most cases, recovery only takes a day or two before you can return to work or other regular activities.
Over the next few weeks, as your prostate loses its blood supply, it shrinks in size. This enables your urethra to open up again so urine can flow more freely. Unlike conventional surgical treatments for BPH that can cause complications, such as incontinence and impotence, PAE has few side effects and may even improve sexual function.
To learn more, call Alate Health or schedule an in-person or virtual appointment online today.
Benefits of PAE
- Equivalent outcomes to TURP - 7 of 8 men report improved quality of life and urinary symptoms
- No reported cases impotence after procedure
- Up to 60% of men report improved sexual function
- No need for catheter after procedure
- Minimal pain after procedure
- Quick recovery (1-2 days)
- Performed under conscious sedation with no need for general anesthesia
- Doesn’t eliminate possibility of other treatments for BPH
- No limits on prostate size for treatment
Listen to Dr. Doug Pike of KPRC - Channel 2 TV segment on 50+ discuss PAE
"Like many men, my journey to find viable solutions to treat BPH was both confusing and, at times, scary. Given the enlargement size of my prostate, solutions for treatment beyond pharmaceuticals were necessary. My symptoms with BPH included retention, urgency, and overall discomfort that often controlled my schedule days today. Over time and after many visits with urologists that’s included such barbaric procedures as cystoscopies, I was presented with options that came with many side effects and potentially uncomfortable surgery including the installation of a catheter for recovery from a TURP procedure. Urolift was not an option given my Prostate size and removal was never considered.
Fast forward to 2019. Over the past three years, I had read up on the PAE procedure and its efficacy. As a career, Wall Street executive, numbers, and comps are my daily routine. I studied and did much analysis of the cause and effect of the PAE procedure. For me, the cost, the ease of the outpatient procedure, the fact that I could remain awake without sedation and the fact that recovery time was significantly lower than a TURP made it right for me. Once I realized the procedure would be best for me, I investigated local IR’s in Houston and found Dr. Doe. Upon the first visit, I knew he’d be right for me. His confidence, explanation, and forthright representation of statistics set me at ease. I set an appointment that day to start the PAE procedure. After a simple MRI, I was consulted and surgery was set.
The day of surgery was simple, uncomplicated, and exceeded my expectations thanks to Dr. Doe and his courteous and professional staff. I felt no pain during the procedure and remained awake the entire procedure. I was able to go home within 3 hours from the time I walked in! Amazing! Post-procedure, I did experience discomfort with urination for 4 days but once I began taking an over the counter anti-inflammatory the pain subsided. The results? Very good! I’m not able to compete in a Russian racehorse urination contest, but my urgency, frequency, and discomfort of BPH subsided soon after my procedure and have gotten better since! I strongly recommend the procedure as an alternative to TURP!"