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What is prostate artery embolisation?

Prostate artery embolisation (PAE) is an innovative treatment that can provide relief for lower urinary tract symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

The London Clinic is one of the first independent hospitals in the UK to offer prostate artery embolisation as a routine procedure, offering a safe alternative to surgery.

The prostate often enlarges with increasing age. As it grows it can press on the urethra, blocking the flow of urine from the bladder. This may cause bacteria to grow and develop into a lower urinary tract infection. LUTS symptoms can occur in up to 30% of men older than 65 years​[1], the most common cause of problems is BPH[2] , or non-cancerous enlarged prostate. 

To assess your suitability for treatment, a thorough medical examination is carried out by world-renowned Urologist, Professor Proka Dasgupta. Prostate artery embolisation is performed by Consultant Endovascular Radiologist, Dr Jocelyn Brookes. The procedure involves blocking the arteries that supply blood to the prostate, causing it to shrink.

What are the advantages of prostate artery embolisation?

Prostate artery embolisation significantly reduces symptoms without complications, risks and recovery typically associated with surgery like TURP (Transurethral resection of the prostate).

  • Shrinks the size of the prostate
  • Relieves lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Maintains sexual function and fertility
  • Reduces risk of retrograde ejaculation
  • Minimally-invasive with no scars
  • Can return to full mobility within 48 hours
  • Safe and effective alternative to surgery
  • More than 3 out of 4 men avoid TURP surgery

The recent UK-ROPE (Registry of Prostate Embolisation) study has shown its preliminary safety and efficacy in a multicentre observational evaluation.

Pre-treatment assessment

The Urology service assesses your suitability for prostate artery embolisation. World-renowned Urologist, Professor Prokar Dasgupta, will assess your symptoms and take a thorough history of your medical problems and discuss concerns you may have.

Signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia include:

  • Problems passing urine, including difficulty starting the urine flow
  • A weak stream and dribbling after going to the toilet
  • Passing urine more frequently
  • Getting up at night to pass urine
  • An urgent need to pass urine
  • Incontinence and leakage of urine
  • The feeling that the bladder is not emptying properly

Treatment facts

Prostate artery embolisation at The London Clinic is carried out as a day-admission in our Angio suite for specialist interventional procedures that require the use of X-rays. You will be laid on an X-ray table and sedated by a Consultant Anaesthetist.

A catheter (thin plastic tube) is then inserted into an artery in your groin. Using an X-ray, the catheter is threaded into your prostate arteries (left and right). After your consultant has identified and visualised the prostate blood supply, they will inject a fluid infused with microparticles into these small arteries, blocking the blood supply to the enlarged prostate. Research has shown that the prostate shrinks, relieving the symptoms of BPH.

Image: Right prostate artery catheterised showing the prostate glandular blood supply immediately before embolisation:

What are the treatment risks?

Our consultants, together with our experienced anaesthetists and nursing staff, work to minimise risks and support safe recovery.

No significant dangers are associated with prostate artery embolisation, but can occasionally cause:

  • A small bruise at the site of the injection
  • Most patients feel some mild pain during and after the procedure, which does not usually last more than 1 to 3 days

The complexity of finding difficult or small prostate arteries may lead to technical failures in very few cases, which can be rectified by TURP surgery. 

Treatment recovery

Most men are able to go back to normal activities within 48 hours, however it’s sensible not to do anything too strenuous.

Your Urology Consultant will arrange a post-op appointment, to discuss the effectiveness of the embolisation.

Role of the Urology service

In accordance with NICE- the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence – our Urology consultants work with highly-trained multidisciplinary teams to discuss and plan your treatment.

Consultant Radiologist, Dr Jocelyn Brookes introduced the PAE service to The London Clinic, with the specific remit of relieving symptoms caused by BPH. Assessment by Urologist, Professor Prokar Dasgupta, together with state-of-the-art facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, enables patients to receive exceptional Urology care.

Prostate artery embolisation cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages. Please call +44 (0)20 3219 3315 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and book an appointment.

[1] Lower urinary tract symptoms

[2]  Prostate artery embolisation treatment 

Main switchboard: +44 (0) 207 935 4444

Treatment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7693Consultant appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7693 Prices for self funding patients: +44 (0) 203 219 3315Physiotherapy appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7651X-ray and scan appointments: +44 (0) 207 616 7653Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708

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