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Well as promised here is the start of my weekly documentation of the results of my PAE procedure. I had it last Tuesday (08/09/16) at UNC in Chapel Hill NC by Dr. Isaacson and his great staff. The prep and procedure were totally painless - it is true! I am a cowardly lion when it comes to anything medical but all the pre-procedure worries were in my head and unjustified. The only scary part was being wheeled into the procedure room but once there my high-tech nerdness took over at seeing all the 24th century Star Trek equipment and asking all about it.
I had expected a lot of post-procedure pain, especially with my 300gm prostate dying off but I have had NO pain at all or any discomfort whatsoever - no blood in the urine, no constipation, even the small incission in my left wrist and the IV spot in my right hand have heeled. True I have been on heavy duty drugs ( prednisone; heavy ibuprofen; antibiotics ) so these could mask the discomfort. These drugs finish tomorrow (Tues) so I'll after that. My peeing symptoms are better but that could just be the heavy inflammatories to keep my urethra open. Over the past month I had to self-cath a few times due to AUR. But I opted to take prednisone during the 3 weeks leading up to the PAE instead to keep me open.
Here's a brief summary of my BPH. I am 67 and otherwise ok. I started BPH symptoms 20 years ago and dealt with it the usual way until 2003 when I started taking alpha-blockers ( alfusozin). From 2005 to 2011 I added Proscar and then switched to Avodart until the present. The 5-alpha reducatse inhibitors destroyed my quality of life but kept me peeing. My prostate grew from 150 to 300 gms during the past 5 years but my saving grace is no median lobe or bladder obstruction. My current PVR is 350ml.
I refused to let my uro here butcher me with a turp or prostatectomy, but he did get to do 3 TRUS needle biopsies over the years, all of which were negative though he was quick to warn me that there must be PCa hiding in there somewhere.
I do hope the PAE works for me so I don't need a life-altering surgery. Even a 10% size reduction would really open up my flow. Right now it is too soon to tell.
I also had 2 liquid biopsies ( MiPS and Apifiny tests) for PCa. These are urine and blood tests that look at the molecular level for indications of PCa - my tests were extremely low. Also while my PSA is 12 now, it is the psa density that is important and again mine is very low. I mention all this because it is really important to eliminate PCa before focusing on BPH.
Dr. Isaacson and his staff were the best I have ever seen. He doesn't make you come in the day before for MRIs and CT scans since his new equipment allows him to see all the arteries and decide how to proceed realtime. Also, if your hand arterial flow is good (which he tests before the procedure ), then he enters through the wrist rather than the femoral artery which will save you a lot of discomfort afterwards and is much safer. I looked at the few other IRs doing PAE in the US and concluded he was the best. The wonderful people on this forum educated me, reassured me and guided me with this decision. I hope to return the favor now to others.
So I will update here every week and let you know how I am doing. And please post here with all questions/comments. I sure hope it works, even if I have to do it again in a few years ( when it may be covered by Medicare - it cost me $6450 plus $200. for drugs). The money is well worth it to avoid what the uros have to offer.
All the best to everyone.
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