Dhanya Anand, MD, and Robert Kamieniecki, MD, both interventional radiologists at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, discuss a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat men with an enlarged prostate called Prostatic Artery Embolization.

What is a Prostatic Artery Embolization?

Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that treats benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlargement of the prostate. An enlarged prostate not only compresses the urethra but also compresses the bladder. This strains the bladder and leads to frequent urination, weak stream, dribbling and may result in getting up multiple times to urinate throughout night.

PAE is a minimally invasive treatment that is used to treat men with prostatic artery enlargement without significant side effects. Interventional radiologists will use CT imaging prior to the procedure to map out the prostatic arteries. They work in collaboration with a urologist to create an optimized plan specific to the patient’s anatomy.

What happens during Prostatic Artery Embolization?

  • PAE is a same day procedure performed by an interventional radiologist.
  • A small catheter is inserted into your urethra to navigate to the prostatic arteries.
  • Microscopic beads are placed to block the blood supply to the prostate.
  • Following the procedure, (a period of 1-6 months) the prostate will shrink and symptoms will improve.

What can I expect after the Prostatic Artery Embolization?

  • PAE has few side effects. There are no sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation.
  • It is common to feel increased pressure in the pelvis for about 2-3 days after the procedure.
  • You may have blood in the semen, blood in urine and in stool for approximately 1 week after the procedure that resolves spontaneously.