Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) in Denver, CO
Effective Treatment for BPH
A part of the male reproductive system, the prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that makes a fluid which goes into semen. The gland sits in front of the rectum just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder. Throughout life, men experience continued growth of the prostate although it isn’t entirely clear what causes the prostate to enlarge. Scientific studies suggest that the enlargement may occur because of changing hormone levels as men age.
What is BPH?
BPH is an abbreviation for benign prostatic hyperplasia. The condition is also known as prostate gland enlargement, benign enlargement of the prostate (BEP, BPE), adenofibromyomatous hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and benign prostatic obstruction. It is a condition that occurs when the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous (benign).
As the prostate enlarges, it presses against and constricts the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker, and the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely. The narrowing of the urethra and the inability to empty the bladder completely (urinary retention) cause many of the symptoms of BPH.
Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists provide expert treatment for BPH using prostatic artery embolization. Learn about your treatment options and schedule your appointment at our office in Denver to see if PAE is right for you.
What is Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)?
Prostatic artery embolization, or PAE, is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Because BPH is an enlarged prostate gland, the overall goal of PAE treatment is to reduce the size of the prostate and decrease any symptoms. PAE uses microscopic beads to block the blood flow to the prostate, which deprives the cells of oxygen and ultimately helps the gland shrink in size.
BPH Treatment at Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists
The Interventional Radiologists at the MIPS Center believe prostatic artery embolization is the most proven and effective non-surgical way of decreasing the volume of a prostate, which is the underlying cause of BPH. Our BPH specialists have been performing prostatic artery embolization to treat BPH for over 10 years and are Colorado’s leaders in performing PAE in both experience and volume. Each year alone, our specialists perform up to 60 PAE treatments for patients suffering from BPH.
Who is a Candidate for PAE?
As a minimally invasive procedure that preserves sexual function, PAE is an alternative to drug and surgical BPH treatment options. If any of the following are true for you, you may be a candidate for PAE:
- You have BPH, or are experiencing symptoms associated with BPH.
- You’re looking to preserve sexual function during treatment.
- You have a reaction to medication, or would prefer another route of treatment.
- You’re either not a candidate for, or do not want surgical treatment.
About Your Procedure
If you have determined you are a viable candidate for PAE or are actively deciding about the treatment, it’s important to understand the process.
Prior to Treatment
Before the treatment begins, you may undergo a brief physical examination and a series of ultrasounds or MRIs. This will assist in evaluating the rate of urine flow. As you prepare for the procedure, you will be given a mild sedative, but remain awake. Because PAE is generally an outpatient procedure, no general anesthesia is needed.
During Your Treatment
As the procedure begins, a small incision will be made in your upper thigh or wrist as to gain access to your arterial system. A small, spaghetti-like catheter is then placed into the vessels that supply blood to your prostate.
As the prostate is reached, small microscopic particles are injected into the blood vessels and the blood flow to your prostate is decreased. This process will be repeated as to reach both sides of the prostate.
Recovery From PAE
As the blood flow decreases, the prostate will begin to shrink, and your urinary symptoms will begin to improve. Because the treatment is outpatient and takes nearly one to four hours to perform, you can resume normal activity within the day.
Prostate Artery Embolization Post-Op Instructions
It’s normal to have access site discomfort which will improve over the next week. There may also be a small bruise at the access site. Typically, the site is covered with Dermabond (surgical glue) which will naturally fall off after approximately 1 week. No special care is needed at the access site. Please do not sit in a hot tub, bathtub, or swimming pool for 1 week after the procedure.
No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 7 days. You may resume normal activities of daily living the day after the procedure. There is a well-known post embolization syndrome after having this procedure. This can include low grade temperatures (<100.0), burning during urination, pelvic pain, and difficulty urinating. There can still be a small amount of blood in the stool or urine. These symptoms will slowly improve over the following week. Prostate symptoms can start to improve over the next 1-3 months. Maximal results are seen at 6 months.
Post Procedure Medications:
- Medrol Dose Pack – take as directed – start day after the procedure
- Ciprofloxacin – 250mg twice daily for 3 days – start day after the procedure
- Ibuprofen – 600mg 3 times daily for 3 days – start taking right after the procedure
- Pyridium – 200mg 3 times daily for 3 days – start right after the procedure (this will turn your urine orange)
- Percocet – 1 tablet every 4 hours if needed