Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is an increasingly common treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that can cause significant urinary symptoms in men. As a minimally invasive procedure, PAE reduces the blood flow to the prostate gland, resulting in a decrease in size and an improvement in symptoms. Your follow-up care is a critical component of the overall treatment plan, and your role as a patient involves active engagement with your prostate artery embolization doctor to monitor your progress and manage any symptoms that may arise post-procedure.
If you’re reading this blog and are considering PAE, take our FREE 3-Minute Quiz to determine your International Prostate Symptom Score and see if you’re eligible. If you have any questions about PAE, please don’t hesitate to contact our Prostate Specialists of Miami clinic at (786) 500-5347 to schedule your consultation.
Overview of Prostate Artery Embolization
Prostate artery embolization is a minimally invasive treatment option for lower urinary tract symptoms due to BPH. Your understanding of this procedure is crucial when considering treatment alternatives for an enlarged prostate.
Indications for Prostate Artery Embolization
- Patient Profile: You may undergo PAE if you have symptomatic BPH and are either a poor surgical candidate or wish to avoid more traditional surgical methods.
- Symptomatic Relief: Your doctors might suggest PAE when medications have not provided relief from urinary symptoms such as increased frequency, urgency, or weak stream.
Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization
- Reduced Risks: As a non-surgical option, PAE lowers your risk of complications such as bleeding, infection, and sexual dysfunction.
- Recovery: The recovery period is generally shorter, meaning you can resume normal activities sooner compared to those who undergo surgical alternatives.
- Efficacy: Studies have shown that PAE effectively reduces prostate volume and improves urinary symptoms in the majority of treated patients.
Role of PAE Doctors in Follow-Up Care
Following PAE, your doctor plays a critical role in ensuring a safe and effective recovery. They monitor your progress, address any complications, and guide you through the post-PAE phase towards optimal long-term health.
Assessment of Immediate Post-Embolization Outcomes
Immediately after PAE, your doctor will assess key outcomes to ensure the procedure’s success. Vital signs, including blood pressure and heart rate, are closely monitored to detect any immediate complications. Imaging studies like MRI or ultrasound may be used to evaluate the embolization’s efficacy. Your doctor will review these results to confirm reduced blood flow to the targeted prostate area, indicating a successful PAE.
Post-PAE Care: Managing Pain, Discomfort, and More
While PAE is a successful procedure, recovery involves managing pain, discomfort, and some side effects. Here’s what you can expect:
Pain and Discomfort
- Most men experience pelvic pain and burning, similar to a urinary tract infection, for 1-2 days. It’s worse during urination and usually improves with time.
- Your doctor may prescribe (1) pain relievers for managing pain levels, (2) antibiotics to prevent or treat infections, and (3) anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and improve comfort.
Puncture Site Care
- Bandages cover the groin puncture sites. Replace them after showering for the first 3 days, then remove on the 4th day.
- Bruising is normal and changes color over time.
- Rarely, significant bleeding can occur. Apply direct pressure and seek immediate medical attention.
Diet, Medications, and Activity
- Resume your regular diet and take any prescribed medications
- Slowly increase activity over 3-4 days
- Avoid strenuous activities like bike riding for 21 days to prevent prostate inflammation
- Unrestricted activity, including sex and exercise, is possible after 10 days
Common Side Effects
- Bladder/prostate irritation: Medications like ibuprofen can help
- Constipation: Take Colace, Milk of Magnesia, or prune juice to prevent it
- Fever: A mild fever is common but high temperatures (over 102°F) require contacting your doctor
- Blood in urine, stool, or semen: Small amounts are normal for the first few days
- PAE typically doesn’t affect erectile function, though semen volume may temporarily change. Blood in semen for the first 1-2 weeks is also normal.
- A 3-month follow-up visit is scheduled. Contact your doctor if symptoms worsen or don’t resolve within the expected timeframe.
- 6 to 12-month check-up for further evaluation of urinary function and quality of life
Your doctor may also order periodic lab tests or imaging as needed to track the long-term success of the embolization and to monitor for any signs of revascularization or other complications. These visits are crucial to ensure lasting relief from BPH symptoms. Remember, open communication with your medical team is key to a successful recovery and maintaining your overall urinary health.
Struggling with BPH? Discover a Less Invasive Path to Prostate Relief
Break free from the challenges an enlarged prostate poses on your life. Take the first step towards a brighter future. If you’ve been searching online for a “prostate specialist near me” or “prostate artery embolization near me,” why not connect with Prostate Specialists of Miami? Here, you’ll have the opportunity to consult with Dr. Adam S. Gropper, a highly experienced prostate artery embolization doctor with over 20 years of dedicated expertise in improving men’s health.
Give us a call at (786) 500-5347 or visit our website to fill out our online form and schedule your consultation with one of the industry’s top prostate artery embolization doctors. Dr. Gropper will thoroughly evaluate your condition, discuss if you’re a prime candidate for PAE, and answer all of your questions.
Before you go, we invite you to download our FREE guide, “5 Reasons to Choose Prostate Artery Embolization,” and discover why PAE could be the best choice for you.
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