Prostatic artery embolization is performed through a small puncture in the groin. A catheter is inserted through the artery and directed toward the prostate. Once the catheter is positioned in the artery supplying blood to the prostate, tiny particles are injected that plug up the artery, blocking blood flow. This is called embolization. The process is then repeated on the other side, most commonly through the same original puncture. The procedure can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on the location and size of the prostatic arteries.
Over several months, the body’s immune system reabsorbs the dead tissue and replaces it with scar. This scar tissue slowly contracts resulting in shrinkage of the prostate. Over a six- month period, the prostate will shrink by 20-40%, resulting in improved and less frequent urination. According to the data on PAE that has already been published, PAE provides satisfactory improvement for 75-80% of men who undergo the procedure.