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Prostate artery embolisation

Shrinking an enlarged prostate

A minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure to treat an enlarged prostate by shrinking it

About

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland near the neck of the bladder. An enlarged prostate or prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) isn't normally cancerous but it can put pressure on the urethra and make it difficult to pass urine. Prostate artery embolisation (PAE) is a minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure designed to treat an enlarged prostate by blocking off the arteries that feed it. By doing so, it shrinks the prostate.

In all published PAE trails to date, a symptomatic improvement is seen in just over 80 per cent of men at 3 to 12 months, and these improvements are sustained at medium- and long-term follow-up appointments, where there is a cumulative success rate of 78 per cent. NICE approved PAE for routine use in April 2018 and our team of consultants have performed more than 300 PAE cases in the UK with excellent results.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    A highly trained interventional radiologist, who is experienced in advanced embolisation techniques, performs the procedure. They'll typically make a single puncture in the groin or, occasionally, the wrist or arm. This is done under local anaesthetic. They will then insert thin, hollow tubes, known as catheters, into both the right and left prostate arteries under direct X-Ray guidance. These prostatic arteries are then closed using 250-400 micron-sized embolic particles.

    Prostate artery embolisation takes approximately two hours to perform and you can expect to be discharged after four hours provided you are fit and able to leave. Men needing to travel out of the area or those who are less fit may require an overnight stay in hospital. Men who plan to fly home may do so after four to five days (short-haul) or seven to ten days (long haul).

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain prostate artery embolisation and answer any questions you might have. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. There is a slight risk of injury to the bladder, rectum and genitals because of their close proximity to the prostate. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Post-procedural pain is usually mild to moderate and complications reported to date have been rare and mostly involve minor bruising of the groin. This discomfort can be managed by simple anti-inflammatory and pain killing oral medications. After having your prostate artery embolisation, your urology consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine. You'll most likely be called back for a post-op appointment to discuss the effectiveness of the embolisation.
     
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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