Prostate Artery Embolisation (PAE)

In simple terms, prostate artery embolisation causes the prostate gland to shrink by obstructing the blood flow to the prostate gland. The shrinkage of the gland results in improved voiding symptoms. .

At Sunninghill, we offer this service to the whole African continent. PAE is done under local anaesthetic and is an out-patient procedure. Tiny spheres, which block the minuscule arteries within the prostate gland, are introduced via a catheter inserted into the main leg artery. This catheter is guided through the body to the main prostate arteries.

There is no effect on sexual function or urinary continence. Long-term complications associated with traditional TURP such as stricture formation, do not occur.

Doctors involved with the unit at Sunninghill underwent intensive training from an internationally renowned expert before treating patients without supervision. The Sunninghill unit is associated with the British society for prostate embolisation. We continue to share data to ensure standards are continuously maintained and upgraded.

Interested in prostate artery embolisation?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does minimally invasive surgery mean and entail?

Minimally invasive surgery in essence is doing the same procedure with less trauma which translates into less pain and a more rapid recovery. 

For example, instead of opening an abdomen to repair a structure, a small hole in the abdomen can allow a surgeon to insert a camera to visualise the interior. The camera projects an image onto a large high resolution TV screen. Ancillary instruments are inserted in the abdomen around the camera report and the surgeon can then operate on the area of interest.

PAE is a non surgical approach to reducing the size of the prostate. It involves a puncture of a leg into an artery after having been given local anaesthesia. Tiny spheres are injected into the arteries of the prostate to restrict the blood supply, causing the prostate to shrink.

Anticipated level of pain during and after the procedure?

Pain experienced during the procedure is confined to receiving the local anaesthetic. Warmth can be felt in the buttocks and lower limbs during the procedure. After the procedure around twenty percent of patients will experience pain in the pelvic area that is controlled by taking analgesic medication. This pain might last for three days.

Anticipated duration of hospital stay?

This procedure is a day procedure. If undertaken late in the day there might be an overnight stay because patients have to lie in bed for five hours after the procedure.

how soon after the procedure can normal daily activities be resumed?

Usually one can resume normal activities the following day unless there is pain.

how soon after the procedure can i drive?

Driving can commence the day after the procedure subject to experiencing pain and taking analgesics.

how soon after the procedure will i be able to travel?

One should not travel for a minimum of twenty four hours after an anaesthetic. Most minimally invasive procedures would allow travel with a few days.

In the case of PAE, one can travel the day after the procedure.

Will my sexual function and/or fertility be affected by the procedure?

Sexual function and/or fertility is not affected by the procedure unless a complication occurs.

Would this procedure have any affect on my quality of life going forward?

There is no effect on quality of life unless a complication occurs.

What to expect at my follow-up visit.

This is usually a short visit to make sure there are no patient issues. Around four to six weeks after the procedure there is another visit to assess the outcome of the procedure. It usually takes at least a month for the benefits of the procedure to be realised