What You Need to Know About Prostate Artery Embolization for BPH and Overactive Bladder

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When it comes to problems with the prostate, one of the most common conditions men experience is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition affects over 50% of men over 50 and can cause various problematic symptoms, such as difficulty urinating and frequent urination.

For years, the most common treatments for BPH were medications or surgery, but there is now a minimally invasive alternative showing promising results: Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE).

PAE is also showing promise as a treatment for overactive bladder, providing many men with an improved quality of life. In this blog, interventional radiologist Dr. Adam Gropper discusses what PAE is, how it can relieve your BPH and overactive bladder, and what you can expect during and after the procedure.

Understanding BPH, Overactive Bladder, and the Impact of PAE

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is the noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This growth often obstructs urine flow, leading to a range of urinary symptoms, including frequent urination, urinary incontinence, and a weakened urine stream.

As the prostate enlarges, it can exert pressure on the bladder, disrupting its regular function. This can heighten the urgency and frequency of urination and, at times, lead to involuntary leakage. PAE offers a solution. By targeting the prostate’s blood supply and causing it to shrink, PAE relieves the undue pressure on the bladder.

This not only alleviates symptoms associated with BPH but can also considerably reduce the symptoms of an overactive bladder. In essence, PAE presents a dual benefit if you’re dealing with both BPH and an overactive bladder.

The Critical Role of Interventional Radiologists

Interventional radiologists are board-certified physicians with specialized training in both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Instead of the more extensive incisions of traditional surgery, they utilize minimally invasive techniques, leveraging advanced imaging to guide their tools and ensure precision.

This expertise in imaging allows them to target specific areas with greater accuracy, enhancing the overall effectiveness of treatments. In the context of PAE, the role of an interventional radiologist is paramount. Their deep understanding of imaging, coupled with their surgical skills, allows for a precise intervention, targeting the prostate’s arterial system effectively.

Therefore, when considering PAE, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced interventional radiologist. They bring not only technical expertise but also a comprehensive approach — guiding you from your initial consultation to post-procedure follow-up, ensuring an informed and seamless treatment experience.

How Prostate Artery Embolization Works

Prostate Artery Embolization is a cutting-edge procedure specifically designed to address the enlarged prostate’s blood supply by reducing its volume and subsequent symptoms. Here’s a summary of the procedure:

  • Targeting the Blood Supply: The primary objective of PAE is to minimize the blood flow to the enlarged prostate, causing it to shrink over time.
  • Insertion of the Catheter: Utilizing their expertise, interventional radiologists carefully insert a slender catheter into the arteries supplying the prostate.
  • Guided Treatment: Through the use of real-time imaging, radiologists can ensure the precise release of microscopic beads into the prostate arteries. These beads act as blockages, reducing the blood supply to the prostate gland.
  • Resulting Benefits: As the prostate receives diminished blood flow, it begins to shrink. This reduction in size leads to a notable alleviation of many urinary symptoms, typical of conditions like BPH and overactive bladder.

The Advantages of a Minimally Invasive Approach

Traditional treatments for BPH, such as surgery, can be more invasive, require general anesthesia, and have a longer recovery time. In contrast, PAE is considered a minimally invasive procedure.

It’s typically done under local anesthesia and offers a faster recovery, with many patients returning to their regular activities within days. Additionally, it avoids certain surgical risks, such as erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.

Preparing for the PAE Procedure

If you’re considering the PAE procedure and searching online for “prostate artery embolization near me,” it’s essential to consult an interventional radiologist who can guide you through the necessary steps.

First, a physical examination will be conducted to ensure you’re a suitable candidate. This often involves a detailed review of your medical history, urinary symptoms, and any prior prostate interventions.

Before the procedure, you may be asked to undergo specific tests to map out your prostate’s blood supply. This mapping is crucial for a successful outcome. Also, you might be advised to temporarily stop certain medications and adhere to dietary restrictions leading up to the procedure.

The Day of the Procedure: What to Expect

On the day of the procedure, you’ll be greeted by a team of medical professionals experienced in the intricacies of PAE. After ensuring you are comfortable, local anesthesia will be administered, making the process pain-free.

The interventional radiologist will then introduce a small catheter into the prostate arteries. The entire procedure typically lasts between 1-3 hours.

Post-procedure, it’s common to experience some mild discomfort or urinary symptoms. These are typically temporary and fade as the prostate reduces in size. Most patients can go home the same day, although you might be asked to stay overnight for observation.

Potential Side Effects and Recovery

As with any medical procedure, there are potential side effects to be aware of. Some men might experience mild pain or a burning sensation during urination in the days following PAE. Others might notice blood in their urine or experience frequent urination. These symptoms usually subside within a week.

The beauty of PAE is in its minimally invasive nature. Recovery is swift, with many patients returning to daily routines within a few days. However, following post-procedure guidelines and recommendations provided by the interventional radiologist is essential.

Regular follow-ups are crucial to monitor the prostate’s size and ensure your symptoms decrease as anticipated.

Comparing PAE to Other Treatment Options

When it comes to managing BPH and overactive bladder, various treatment options exist. These range from medications to surgical interventions. While medications often relieve symptoms, they may come with side effects and aren’t always effective in the long run.

On the other hand, surgical treatments are more invasive and come with risks, including potential impacts on sexual function.

PAE stands out because it offers a balance. It’s minimally invasive compared to surgeries like TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate). Also, because it’s an outpatient procedure, hospital stays are often shorter or unnecessary.

The risk of complications, such as erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation, is also considerably reduced with PAE making PAE a promising choice for many patients seeking an effective middle ground between medications and surgery.

Long-Term Efficacy of PAE

Many potential patients ask, “How long will the results last?” It’s a valid concern. Research and clinical observations suggest that the majority of men who undergo PAE experience symptom relief for several years post-procedure. Of course, individual results can vary, and some might require additional treatments down the line.

PAE is a safe and effective procedure that provides many men with an alternative to medication or surgery for treating BPH and overactive bladder. While it may not be appropriate for everyone, it’s worth discussing it with your doctor to see if it could be an option for you.

With minimal risks and a quick recovery time, PAE can help improve your symptoms and quality of life, allowing you to enjoy the activities you love without the constant burden of urinary issues. If you are struggling with BPH or an overactive bladder, talk to your doctor today about whether PAE could be right for you.

Your Prostate Health Matters to Us

Dealing with an enlarged prostate can feel overwhelming, but understanding treatment options like PAE can empower you to take control of your health. PAE has revolutionized the management of BPH, offering a safe, effective, and minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery.

If you’re searching online for “prostate artery embolization doctors near me” or seeking a “prostate specialist near me,” contact Prostate Specialists of Miami for unparalleled expertise. At Prostate Specialists of Miami, consult directly with Dr. Adam S. Gropper, an authority in the field with over two decades of experience. Benefit from his extensive background and commitment to patient care.

Don’t wait to seek relief. Call us at (786) 500-5347 or complete our online form to schedule your consultation today. Let Prostate Specialists of Miami guide you toward better prostate health.

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.

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Prostate Specialists of Miami
15400 Biscayne Boulevard #104
Aventura, FL 33160
(786) 500-5347

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