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Are you putting off treating your enlarged prostate because you fear a difficult recovery from prostate surgery or post-surgical side effects which could affect your quality of life? If so, Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) may be the answer for you.

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive, non-surgical outpatient treatment for enlarged prostate (known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) with a much shorter recovery time than traditional procedures. PAE involves blocking off the blood vessels that feed the prostate. Over time, the prostate shrinks, thereby helping to relieve BPH symptoms.

Because the PAE procedure does not involve surgery or physical removal of part of the prostate, your recovery will consist of post-procedural symptoms that last about two to four days compared to traditional prostate surgery that may take between 3 and 6 weeks for you to fully recover. Traditionally no urinary catheter is required.

With Prostate Artery Embolization, you may feel tired after the procedure and for a few days. We recommend that you limit activities for a week. Full benefits from PAE happen gradually over 6-12 weeks as the gland shrinks. Typically, the earliest results are experienced one month after the procedure.

PAE has a high rate of success, with more than 90% of men experiencing relief in the first year, with up to 85% reduction in their symptoms. Unlike other treatments that may have unwanted sexual side effects, PAE does not affect sexual performance. Typically, for PAE there is no size limit for the prostate gland–unlike surgery where minimally invasive options are limited as the size becomes larger. Additionally, patients with no remaining of options, stuck with in-dwelling urinary catheters are excellent candidates for PAE and can experience life changing results.

Every patient’s treatment goals are different. No one treatment will suit the needs and goals of everyone. That’s why you should consult with one of our Fairfax Vascular Center physician specialists to help guide you toward the treatment that is right for you. If you are either ineligible for or not interested in traditional surgery, the PAE procedure just might be an option for you.

Mustafa Syed
About the Author

Dr. Mustafa M. Syed specializes in diagnostic radiology, vascular radiology, and interventional radiology and the Fairfax Vascular Center in Virginia.