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  • Writer's pictureSandeep Bagla

What is Prostate Artery Embolization ?

Prostate Artery Embolization, or PAE, is a procedure where a very small spaghetti sized catheter is placed within the arteries supplying the prostate gland and microparticles are injected in order to decrease the blood supply to the prostate. This injection of microparticles is called embolization, which is a procedure which has been utilized for more than 30 years in the treatment of many medical conditions. The procedure was first pioneered in the United States by Dr. Sandeep Bagla and has since grown in its usage both here in United States and worldwide.

Multiple clinical trials have been performed over the past 10 years demonstrating the clinical success of prostatic artery embolization supporting its efficacy in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. The procedure is minimally invasive, and does not require catheterization of the penis or urethra. It does not have traditional side effects which are associated with surgical procedures such as evidence or incontinence.

The complexities of the procedure are related to recognition of the arterial anatomy, proper delivery of the embolization agents and proper protection of non-target vasculature. Our team has performed more of these procedures than anyone in North America and has work to improve the procedure from its infancy until now a decade later. We have demonstrated that the procedure could have a high technical and clinical success which has been published in the literature as well as presented in numerous scientific meetings around the world. The goal of this procedure is to decrease the size of the prostate, thereby allowing for improved urination and less urinary tract related symptoms while maintaining the sexual function and minimizing the risk of any procedurally related complications.

The example here is an angiogram or picture of the arterial vasculature, from a patient which there is a artery traveling to a non-target site (red arrow). In this case the artery, which travels to the rectum, is avoided by placing the catheter more distally within a very small branch that goes to the prostate only. In the second picture, the catheter has been advanced into the prosthetic artery proper and good perfusion from just the enlarged tissue was identified. By employing these proper techniques, the procedure remains incredibly safe with one of the highest safety profiles of interventional procedures performed today.

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