Prostate Artery Embolization

About the Procedure

In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into an artery in the wrist or upper thigh. Using low dose X-ray images, an interventional radiologist navigates the catheter to the prostatic arteries, which supply blood to enlarged prostate gland. Tiny particles, which are the size of small grains of sand, are injected into the bloodstream and directed into the prostate. These particles block the blood supply to the prostate, which causes it to shrink and provides symptom relief.

Benefits of PAE

  • Minimally invasive
  • No instrumentation of the penis
  • Not performed through the urethra
  • No sexual side effects or incontinence
  • Performed under light to moderate sedation
  • Same day discharge and short recovery time

Greenlight Laser for BPH

The treatment for men with enlarged prostates and difficulty urinating has evolved greatly during the past five to 10 years. One of the most exciting developments has been photovaporization of the prostate (PVP) using the Greenlight laser.

This technique allows for the direct removal of prostate tissue, similar to what occurs during the more traditional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). However, since the tissue is vaporized using the laser, bleeding is minimal. That allows most patients to go home from the hospital on the same day as the procedure, often without the need for a urinary catheter.

This technique has a distinct advantage compared to microwave therapy (TUMT) or transurethral needle ablation (TUNA). It can take several weeks or months for the prostate to decrease in size following those treatments.

Greenlight laser results are similar to those achieved with a TURP, which has been the gold standard for treating men with enlarged prostates for decades. However, the Greenlight's laser has fewer negative side effects and a shorter recovery period.

The vast majority of men who have had the Greenlight procedure at UChicago Medicine have been overwhelmingly satisfied with the results. The most common comment is that patients wish they had not waited so long to have it done.