PAE is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and no general anesthesia is required. During the PAE procedure, also known as prostatic artery embolization, you’re given a mild sedative, but remain awake.
The procedure begins with a tiny incision in your upper thigh or wrist to gain access to your arterial system. Using specialized X-ray equipment, a doctor called an Interventional Radiologist (IR) guides a catheter (a small hollow tube) to the vessels that supply blood to your prostate.
Once the IR reaches this location, embolic material (small particles about the size of a grain of sand) is injected through the catheter and into these blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to your prostate. The IR then repositions the catheter in order to treat the other side of your prostate. Depriving the prostate of oxygenated blood will cause it to shrink, thereby improving your urinary symptoms.
When the IR has completed embolization of the prostatic arteries, the catheter is gently removed. The entire PAE treatment can typically take anywhere from one to four hours to perform.