Prostate Artery Embolization vs. Transurethral Resection of the Prostate

Prostate problems are a common health issue affecting many men. It can cause uncomfortable symptoms like urinary urgency, frequency, and incomplete bladder emptying. The two most common treatments for enlarged prostate are prostate artery embolization (PAE) and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). If you’re facing prostate issues and considering these treatments, you need to know what they entail, their benefits, and drawbacks. In this blog post, we’ll compare PAE vs. TURP to help you make an informed decision.

What is Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)?

PAE is a relatively new, minimally invasive procedure to treat prostate enlargement. It involves accessing the prostate artery through a tiny incision in the groin and using microscopic beads to block it. This cuts off the blood supply to the prostate, causing it to shrink naturally. PAE takes about 2-3 hours to complete, and most patients can go home the same day. The procedure carries minimal risks and side effects, such as mild pain, fever, and urinary tract infections.

What is Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)?

TURP is a common surgical procedure done under general anesthesia to remove part of the prostate tissue blocking the urethra and causing urinary problems. It involves inserting a resectoscope (a thin tube with a light and camera) through the penis and removing the excess tissue using a wire loop or laser. The procedure takes about 1-2 hours, and patients usually need to spend one night in the hospital after the surgery. TURP carries more risks and side effects, such as bleeding, infection, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.

Benefits of PAE Compared to TURP:

PAE has several benefits that make it a better alternative to TURP for prostate treatment. Firstly, PAE is a minimally invasive procedure that avoids the risks associated with surgery, such as bleeding, pain, and infection. PAE also preserves sexual function and avoids the risk of incontinence, which is common after surgery. Additionally, PAE doesn’t require general anesthesia, which can lead to complications and prolong the recovery time.

Drawbacks of PAE Compared to TURP:

PAE has some limitations compared to TURP, which patients should consider. Firstly, it may not work as well for larger prostates or severe symptoms. In such cases, surgery may be a more effective option. Also, PAE is a relatively new procedure, and not all urologists are trained to perform it. This means many patients will need to visit an interventional radiologist to perform the procedure. At Texas Vein & Wellness Institute we have highly trained interventional radiologists that can help! Call us today!

While both PAE and TURP can effectively treat prostate issues, PAE seems to have more benefits and fewer risks. PAE is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require hospitalization or general anesthesia. Patients recover faster and are less likely to experience side effects such as bleeding, incontinence, or erectile dysfunction. Overall, PAE is a promising option that should be considered by men suffering from prostate problems.

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