Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is an outpatient procedure used to relieve bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms related to prostate enlargement. PAE is a safe and effective treatment option for patients who qualify, and it is a minimally invasive procedure, which means that it requires only small incisions (cuts). A thin tube called a catheter is inserted through a puncture in an artery in either the groin or wrist, and the catheter is then directed into blood vessels in the prostate. Once there, tiny particles are injected into the arteries that supply blood to the prostate. These particles deprive cells of oxygen and nutrients and cause the prostate gland to shrink. Research shows that patients treated with PAE report high satisfaction, with no sexual side effects or incontinence. Most patients are able to return to work in a few days. Qualifying patients who choose to have a PAE will be seen by an interventional radiologist. Interventional radiology is a medical specialty that uses minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems, and such techniques are an important part of comprehensive patient care. The UAB Medicine Interventional Radiology team is a dedicated group of skilled, innovative health care professionals who are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients. Our Interventional Radiology team uses the most advanced technology and imaging methods – including fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and CT scans – to treat various conditions. These conditions include tumors and diseases that affect the arteries, veins, urinary tract, the hepatobiliary system (liver, bile ducts, and gallbladder), and the musculoskeletal system. PAE treatments are performed in our state-of-the-art angiography suites, which have the full range of imaging technology needed for complex procedures. Because UAB Medicine is an academic medical center that conducts research, patients may have access to new techniques and treatments that are not available at other hospitals in the area.
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