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What Are the Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization for an Enlarged Prostate?

Living with an enlarged prostate can have a significant impact on your overall quality of life. An enlarged prostate can lead to a host of issues that wake you up in the middle of the night and distract you from enjoying the things you love. Whether you experience frequent urination, an inability to empty your bladder or urge incontinence, prostate enlargement has the ability to become a drain on your life when left untreated.

At IVC, we focus on minimally invasive and nonsurgical treatments that allow our patients to live a happy and healthy life. We utilize the latest advancements in medical treatments using image-guidance technology to provide accurate and effective treatments for a wide range of health issues. We proudly offer prostate artery embolization (PAE) to our patients suffering from the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

What Causes an Enlarged Prostate?

The prostate grows during two stages in life: first during puberty and then again beginning around the age of 25 and continuing into the future. As the prostate continues to grow later in life, it can produce added pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing a variety of urinary issues. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition experienced by a majority of men over the age of 50 that produces unwanted symptoms that can harm overall quality of life.

The effects of BPH are benign, meaning not harmful or connected to the development of cancer. While experts are unsure what exactly causes BPH, those at risk of an enlarged prostate include:

  • Male patients over the age of 40
  • Those with a family history of BPH
  • Obese patients or those who live an unhealthy lifestyle
  • Diabetics or patients taking certain medications

Nothing can be done to completely prevent an enlarged prostate, although living a healthy lifestyle can lower the chances. The most important aspect of preventing complications from developing is seeking treatment at the onset of BPH symptoms.

Nonsurgically Treating an Enlarged Prostate with Prostate Artery Embolization

At IVC, we offer PAE to help our patients overcome their BPH symptoms without resorting to surgery and its inherent risks and downtime. If you experience symptoms like frequent urination and urge incontinence or have already been diagnosed with BPH, then you may be a good candidate for PAE.

PAE works by limiting the blood flow supplied to the prostate to stop its growth. Without the vital nutrients provided by the arteries and blood vessels that feed into it, the prostate will gradually shrink. Following PAE, patients experience an improvement in their symptoms thanks to reduced pressure and interference with the bladder.

The procedure is nonsurgical and completed under local anesthesia with sedation. One of our highly-qualified interventional radiologists at IVC performs the procedure, beginning with a small 3mm incision in the groin or upper thigh. The interventional radiologist will then insert a catheter through the incision, guiding it to the prostate under x-ray guidance. They will then perform an arteriogram, injecting the blood vessels with dye to highlight the feeder arteries that directly support the prostate.

With the prostatic arteries highlighted and the catheter in place, our interventional radiologist then injects tiny microsphere particles into the blood vessels to embolize, or block up, the blood flow. Once all the necessary blood vessels have been embolized, the catheter is removed, and the incision is wrapped in a compression dressing.

Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization

As a nonsurgical procedure, patients who undergo PAE can enjoy a lower risk of complications and reduced side effects and downtime. The most common surgical treatment option for BPH, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), requires up to two months of downtime and multiple nights spent in the hospital. PAE patients can expect a much quicker and more comfortable recovery alongside their improved symptoms.

The results of PAE will continue to develop with time as the prostate shrinks over the course of several months. Patients can also opt to repeat PAE if they suffer from further prostate enlargement due to aging. Following the procedure, uncomfortable and irritating urinary symptoms will gradually diminish, allowing patients to improve their quality of life without worrying about the negative effects of an enlarged prostate. Common side effects of surgical treatment methods, like potential sexual side effects or prolonged discomfort, are avoided with this minimally invasive and effective alternative.

Treating Enlarged Prostates at IVC

At IVC, we want to help you overcome your enlarged prostate symptoms by employing the latest in minimally invasive and effective procedures. With PAE, we can now help our adult male patients live a healthy and active lifestyle without taking them away from their responsibilities due to prolonged downtime.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of BPH and would like to learn more about the benefits of PAE, call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule a consultation with one of our expert interventional radiologists.

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We are announcing that Interventional and Vascular Consultants will be closing as of March 10, 2023.

We would like to thank you for the trust you have given us over the years, participating in your healthcare needs has been a privilege.

To assist in a smooth transition to a new provider, you may access your records from your MyHealth account or request a copy of medical records by clicking the link below and completing the Release of Information form.

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Please know that we have greatly valued our relationship with you and wish you the best.


Jason Bauer, MD RVT
Michael Pfister, MD RVT

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