Prostate Arterial Embolization (PAE) To Shrink Your Prostate – New Study

Prostate Arterial Embolization (PAE)  To Shrink Your Prostate – New Study



The Takeaway First

If you find it difficult to urinate, this study is for you. A new, highly successful treatment for symptoms of prostate enlargement might replace surgery and medication, says Francisco Cesar Carnevale, MD of the University of Sao Palo. The procedure is called prostatic artery embolization (PAE), and it has been found to decrease prostate size and relieve symptoms in 95% of the men who got the treatment. Ask your doctor about PAE.

Study Details

  • The procedure works by creating ischemia, or blocking specific arteries that provide blood to the prostate.
  • The study included 150 men with severe lower urinary tract symptoms.
  • Success in this study was defined as an International Prostate Symptom Score of 8 or lower. Most of the men in the study started with scores of about 20.
  • Mean follow-up time was two years, but some patients did not check in until after six years.
  • Incidentally, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels decreased by at least 50% in men treated.
  • No serious complications have been reported.
  • Carnevale recommends the treatment to people who have prostate volumes greater than 50 grams because they tend to have bigger arteries.

My Take on This

Difficulty urinating, pain in urination, increased frequency of urination, increased urgency in urination, waking during the night to urinate—all of these symptoms fall under the category of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms. These are common problems for men over the age of 60, and especially for men over the age of 78, as they are usually caused by prostate enlargement. In fact, these symptoms are some of the most common symptoms of people who come to me for medical advice. It is very normal for your prostate to enlarge over the lifespan, but it can obstruct the flow of life (pardon the pun) in important ways. In that way, I would say it’s normal, but not natural.

Since this is a new procedure, it’s unlikely that many doctors in the United States will be familiar with it. That’s the unfortunate thing about new medicine. However, this is where patients can become educators to their doctors; by asking good questions about new ideas, you can get your physician to investigate for himself.

What Should You Do?

If you suffer from Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) from an enlarged prostate or BPH, prostate arterty embolization may be useful, but the “verdict” is out. Maintaining an idea weight, exercise and a good natural supplement can help to alleviate mild to moderate LUTS and support prostate health. Prostate Arterial Embolization (PAE) is not FDA approved in the United States but it is offered in numerous places for an out-of-pocket expense. As best as I know (March 2015) the cost for PAE procedure in the US is between $6,500 to $15,000 offered at University of North Carolina Center for Heart and Vascular Care,  Inova Alexandria Hospital in Virginia, and  at RIA Endovascular in Colorado.

Here is a silent animated video on how PAE works. Enjoy



Steve Kaplan, MD, Guidelines of Treating BPH, Rev Urol; 2006



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