Prostate Artery Embolization

Prostate artery embolization procedure

As men age, the prostate continues to grow. This sometimes results in a non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), in which the prostate encroaches on the urethra and bladder, causing urinary tract symptoms.

BPH, or enlarged prostate, is a common condition that impacts 50% of men over age 50, and up to 80% of men over age 70. If left untreated, BPH can lead to kidney stones, bladder damage or urinary tract issues.

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers prostate artery embolization (PAE), a minimally invasive, highly effective treatment option for patients with BPH.

What are the benefits of PAE?

Prostate artery embolization is a same-day, outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia and conscious sedation at the PAE clinic at Elmhurst Hospital. It has a minimal recovery time, and approximately 80-90% of our patients have experienced improvement in urinary symptoms after the procedure.

Most patients can expect:

  • Two-hour recovery in the hospital
  • Ability to resume daily activities the next day
  • Symptom relief within one month, with continued improvement over six months

How is PAE performed?

The interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through a small incision in the patient’s wrist or leg. Guided by a live X-ray, the catheter is then placed in the artery supplying blood to the prostate. Once placed, microscopic particles are delivered through the catheter to permanently obstruct those arteries and decrease prostate size over time.

Following the procedure, we typically provide over-the-counter pain medication and a short course of antibiotics.

What are the risks and side effects?

PAE poses fewer and less severe risks than other surgical options with similar success rates. Some risks of PAE include bleeding, infection or the temporary inability to urinate.

Side effects of PAE are minimal, but can include urinary tract infection (UTI), temporary increase in urinary frequency or urgency, burning with urination, or mild pelvic cramping.

Who is a good candidate?

Patients with moderate-to-severe urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia find relief from PAE. Typical symptoms of BPH may consist of:

  • Slow or weak urinary stream
  • Difficulty starting a urination stream
  • Inability to urinate
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Increased urgency to urinate
  • Sensation of incomplete bladder emptying

During the patient consultation at the PAE clinic at Elmhurst Hospital, our team will review additional eligibility criteria. PAE is covered by most insurance plans, but we recommend that you check with your insurance carrier about your coverage.

What are the next steps?

For more information or to schedule a patient consultation, please call 331-221-0560.

Referring physicians can make a patient referral for Interventional Radiology through Epic.

The PAE clinic is located on the Elmhurst Hospital campus at:

Center for Health
1200 S. York Street
Suite 3100
Elmhurst, IL 60126

Office hours:
Monday through Friday | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.