In a previous blog, we talked about Bob, who explored the benefits of prostate artery embolization. After carefully examining his options and learning that he was a good candidate, Bob scheduled an appointment with his interventional radiologist to undergo the procedure.
In this blog, we’ll go into more detail on how to prepare for prostate artery embolization (PAE) in Florida. If you’d like to know if you’re a good candidate for PAE, take our FREE 3-Minute Quiz to determine your International Prostate Symptom Score and see if you’re eligible for PAE. You can also contact us at our Prostate Specialists of Miami clinic by calling (786) 500-5347 to schedule your consultation.
What is Prostate Artery Embolization?
Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive treatment for an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which can help alleviate urinary symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
During prostate artery embolization, an interventional radiologist inserts a small catheter into an artery in your groin or wrist. They then guide the catheter to the prostate arteries, where tiny particles are injected to block blood flow to the enlarged prostate tissue. This ultimately causes the prostate to shrink, relieving symptoms.
Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization
Prostate artery embolization has several advantages over traditional surgical treatments for BPH, including:
- Shorter recovery time
- Less pain and discomfort
- Lower risk of complications
- Preservation of sexual function
Preparing for Prostate Artery Embolization in Florida
Choosing Your Interventional Radiologist
The first step in preparing for prostate artery embolization is selecting a skilled interventional radiologist. Look for a doctor with experience performing prostate artery embolization procedures to help ensure the best possible outcome.
You can ask for recommendations from your primary care physician or do an online search for “prostate artery embolization doctors near me” to find a reputable interventional radiologist in Florida.
Pre-Prostate Artery Embolization Consultation
Once you’ve chosen your interventional radiologist, schedule a consultation to discuss your medical history, current symptoms, and the prostate artery embolization procedure. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns.
Insurance and Cost Considerations
Before scheduling your prostate artery embolization procedure, confirm your insurance coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses. This will help you avoid any unexpected financial surprises.
How to Get Ready for Your PAE Procedure
Your doctor will order pre-procedure testing, such as blood work, imaging studies, or urodynamic tests, to evaluate your prostate and overall health. Complete these tests as instructed and communicate any concerns to your doctor.
Medications and Supplements
Before your PAE procedure, discuss medications, supplements, or over-the-counter drugs you’re taking with your doctor. They may advise you to stop or adjust certain medications, like blood thinners or aspirin, before prostate artery embolization to reduce the risk of complications.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
In the weeks leading up to your prostate artery embolization procedure, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Your interventional radiologist may also recommend specific dietary changes to help manage your BPH symptoms.
What to Expect on the Day of Your PAE Procedure
Once you’ve arrived at the facility, here are the main steps involved in the PAE procedure:
Before your procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted (usually the groin or wrist). In addition, you may receive a mild sedative to help you relax.
The interventional radiologist will make a small incision in the skin and insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into an artery. The radiologist will carefully guide the catheter to the prostate arteries using real-time X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy.
Once the catheter reaches the prostate arteries, the radiologist injects tiny particles called embolic agents into the blood vessels. These particles are designed to block the flow of blood to the prostate tissue, leading to tissue shrinkage over time. The embolic agents can be made of various materials, such as plastic, gelatin, or metallic coils.
Catheter Removal and Wound Care
After the embolization, the radiologist will remove the catheter and apply pressure to the insertion site to prevent bleeding. Depending on the technique, the small incision may be closed with a suture, a small collagen plug, or simply covered with a dressing.
You will be monitored in a recovery area for a few hours following the procedure to ensure there are no immediate complications. Vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, will be checked periodically.
Discharge and Follow-up
Once you are stable and comfortable, you will be discharged with detailed instructions for post-procedure care and follow-up appointments. Adherence to your doctor’s recommendations is critical to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal results. You can read more about the recovery process in a blog here.
The entire PAE procedure typically takes about 1-3 hours, depending on the complexity of your case. Your interventional radiologist will provide you with more details on what to expect during your specific procedure.
Potential Risks and Complications
Though prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure with a low risk of complications, be aware of potential risks, including:
- Allergic reactions to the embolization materials
- Injury to the blood vessels
Discuss any concerns with your doctor, who can help you weigh the risks and benefits of the PAE procedure.
Q: How long does it take to see improvement in symptoms after PAE?
A: Most patients experience symptom relief within a few weeks of the procedure, but it can take up to 3-6 months for the full effects to become apparent.
Q: Is PAE a permanent solution for BPH?
A: While PAE can provide long-lasting symptom relief, it may not be a permanent solution. BPH can continue to progress, and some patients may require additional treatment in the future.
Q: What is the success rate of PAE?
A: Success rates for PAE vary, but studies have shown symptom improvement in 70-90% of patients.
Q: Can I drive myself home after the procedure?
A: Due to the sedation used during the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home afterward.
Q: Are there any alternatives to PAE?
A: Other treatment options for BPH include medication, minimally invasive procedures like UroLift or Rezūm, and traditional surgery like transurethral resection of the prostate. Discuss your options with your doctor to determine the best treatment for your specific needs and preferences.
Q: How long will I need to take off work after PAE?
A: Most patients can return to work within a few days to a week after the procedure, depending on their job’s physical demands. However, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for post-procedure recovery.
Q: Will PAE affect my sexual function?
A: One of the benefits of PAE is that it has a lower risk of impacting sexual function compared to traditional surgical treatments for BPH. Individual results may vary, so discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Q: What are the long-term outcomes of PAE?
A: Long-term outcomes for PAE are generally positive, with many patients experiencing lasting symptom relief and improved quality of life. However, as with any medical procedure, individual results may vary, and it’s important to maintain regular follow-up appointments with your doctor.
Q: How do I know if I am a good candidate for PAE?
A: A good candidate for PAE typically has moderate to severe BPH symptoms that haven’t responded to conservative treatments like medication. To determine if you’re a suitable candidate, consult with an experienced prostate specialist or interventional radiologist who will assess your medical history, symptoms, and overall health.
You can also take our FREE 3-Minute Quiz to determine your International Prostate Symptom Score and see if you’re eligible for PAE.
Contact Prostate Specialists of Miami if You’re Ready to Take Control of Your BPH Symptoms
Don’t let an enlarged prostate hold you back from living your life to the fullest. Prostate artery embolization offers a minimally invasive, effective solution for BPH sufferers in Florida. If you’re searching online for “prostate artery embolization doctors near me,” contact Prostate Specialists of Miami instead. At Prostate Specialists of Miami, we offer safe, minimally invasive treatment options like prostate artery embolization to resolve BPH and improve your quality of life.
When you choose Prostate Specialists of Miami, you’ll meet our lead physician, Interventional Radiologist Dr. Adam S. Gropper. Dr. Gropper has over 20 years of experience treating venous and vascular disorders, including BPH.
Take the first step towards improved urinary function, better overall health, and a more enjoyable quality of life. It’s time to reclaim control over your body and regain the freedom you deserve! Call (786) 500-5347 or complete our online form today to schedule your consultation to get relief from your BPH symptoms.
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