What is prostatic artery embolisation?
Embolisation of the prostatic artery is a minimally invasive method which relieves the symptoms of an enlarged prostate by reducing blood flow to the arteries that supply the affected area.
How does the procedure work?
The procedure works by reducing or stopping blood flow to the vessels that supply the central part of the prostatic tissue, thus relieving symptoms.
There are usually one or two vessels on each side (right and left) which supply the blood for the prostate. The interventional radiologist will insert a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin and guide the catheter under imaging to each prostatic artery. They will then inject microparticles (resin particles smaller than a grain of sand) into the prostatic arteries, causing the blood flow to the central tissue of the prostate to decrease or stop.
Why perform it?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia has a number of unpleasant symptoms. Prostatic embolisation can relieve your symptoms without you needing to risk surgery.
What are the risks?
Minor risks include bruising in the groin. More significant risks include the possibility of the microparticles moving to another area of your body and blocking other artery branches.
1. Pisco JM, Pinheiro LC, Bilhim T, Duarte M, Mendes JR, Oliveira AG. Prostatic arterial embolization to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2011 Jan; 22(1):11-9.
2. Bilhim T, Pisco JM, Rio Tinto H, Fernandes L, Pinheiro LC, Furtado A, Casal D, Duarte M, Pereira J, Oliveira AG, O’Neill JE. Prostatic arterial supply: anatomic and imaging findings relevant for selective arterial embolization. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2012 Nov; 23(11):1403-15.