Prostate Artery Embolisation


The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis . The gland surrounds the urethra, the duct that serves for the passage of both urine and semen.

Normally, the prostate reaches its mature size at puberty, between ages 10 and 14. It usually starts to enlarge after 40 years of age. The prostate grows larger due to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia) reason being unknown.

About half of men aged 51-60yrs and up to 90% of men over the age of 80yrs will develop an enlarged prostate. “All men will develop BPH if they live long enough,”

When it grows beyond the normal size, it would start causing lower urinary tract symptoms by obstructing the urinary tract. BPH leads to both a decline in urinary-associated and overall quality of life.

Symptoms include the

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Frequent urination that often produces only a small amount of urine
  • Hesitant or interrupted urine stream
  • Leaking or dribbling urine
  • Sudden and urgent need to urinate
  • Weak urine stream
  • Feeling like the bladder is not completely empty after urinating
  • Occasional pain when urinating
  • Having to rush to the bathroom suddenly after the urge to urinate
  • Sometimes complete obstruction when severe

Lifestyle Changes to Relieve BPH Symptoms

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Avoid drinking fluids at bedtime, and drinking smaller amounts throughout the day
  • Avoid taking decongestant and antihistamine medications
  • Get regular exercise
  • Make a habit of going to the bathroom when you have the urge
  • Practice double voiding (empty the bladder, wait a moment, then try again)
  • Practice stress management and relaxation techniques

The symptoms of BPH may mimic symptoms of other conditions, including cancer and infections.


A simple ultrasound examination can differentiate and detect benign prostate hypertrophy. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.  It’s also used to investigate a prostate infection ornodule being benign/cancer.


Once diagnosed, Gold standard treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or open prostatectomy (OP). Recently, there has been increased interest and research in less invasive alternative treatments with less morbidity procedure by name prostate artery embolization (PAE). PAE, is an effective alternative to surgery.


Prostate Artery Embolization

A minimally invasive treatment, is known to offer symptom relief to men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate gland. When a man has BPH, his prostate gland grows larger. For this to happen, the prostate needs a steady supply of blood.

During PAE, a small puncture is made in the groin and a catheter inserted into the groin. Using image guidance, the catheter is directed to the blood vessels on both sides of the enlarged prostate gland. Microscopic beads are used to block blood flow to specific areas of the prostate, shrinking the gland and alleviating urinary problems. With the help of cone beam CT, successful delivery of micro beads to the target vessels is ensured and the non-target embolization can be avoided. The procedure is performed by a specialist called an Interventional Radiologist.

These patients experienced an 84% cumulative success rate in the first six months, and 76.2% thereafter.

With no cut, no suture ,no scar techniques Interventional Radiology always offers the patient a better alternative to surgery resulting in the same efficacy. Compared to surgery IR procedures requires less hospital stay (maximum just an overnight), results in faster recovery and has less chances of infection. You would be wise enough to choose the best treatment option available.

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