Are There Any Downsides to PAE?

Are There Any Downsides to PAE?

Prostatic artery embolization (or PAE) is a non-surgical treatment that helps improve lower urinary tract symptoms caused by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). If you have been diagnosed with BPH or are experiencing symptoms related to BPH or an enlarged prostate, the 1 Prostate team in New York City, NY has the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat many prostate concerns.

What is BPH?

Your prostate surrounds part of your urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of your penis. When you have BPH, your prostate is larger than usual, which squeezes the urethra. This can cause your pee stream to be weak, wake you up a lot at night to go to the bathroom & other bothersome urinary symptoms. 

It’s important to note that BPH isn’t prostate cancer and doesn’t make you more likely to get it. It is a common condition in older men, and 1 Prostate offers many treatment options. 


BPH causes symptoms that affect your urine flow, such as:

  • Dribbling when you finish

  • Difficulty urinating

  • A weak stream

  • Intermittent streams of urine (stop & start)

When your urethra is squeezed, it also means your bladder has to work harder to push urine out. Over time, the bladder muscles get weak, which makes it harder for it to empty. This can lead to:

  • A constant or urgent needing to pee even when you don’t need to

  • Having to go multiple times per day & night

  • Incontinence (when you don’t have control over when you pee)

  • Urinary tract infections, bleeding, bladder damage, and bladder stones

  • BPH rarely leads to other conditions but left untreated it can lead to kidney damage or the inability to urinate without medical intervention. 

How Successful Is PAE For BPH? 

One year after PAE, the average prostate size reduces by about 30%, easing urinary symptoms and improving quality of life. Men who have undergone PAE have reported experiencing a high rate of satisfaction, which was also sustained over one year following the procedure. Like other minimally invasive procedures,  PAE has significant advantages over conventional surgery. These benefits include:

  • Virtually no blood loss

  • A faster recovery time when compared to surgery

  • Less likely to require urethral catheterization in comparison to surgery

  • Relieves lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) 

  • Can improve LUTS without surgery

  • Overall significant improvement in quality of life 

  • Can be used without limits on prostate size, urethral narrowing, or bladder capacity

What Are The Downsides To PAE?

PAE results in fewer side effects than other widely used treatments for BPH such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) surgery.

Although most complications are characterized as minor, their recognition is vital to minimizing the probability of side effects, preventing further complications, and maximizing the effectiveness of PAE. Patients may experience a series of side effects for days following the procedure, which can include: 

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

  • Pelvic pain

  • Painful and frequent urination

  • incontinence

Other risks include: 

  • Blood in the urine, semen, or stool 

  • Bladder spasm

  • Infection of the puncture site or prostate

  • Acute urinary retention

PAE should only be performed by knowledgeable and trained interventional radiologists that can map out the procedure to avoid complications.  At 1Fibroid, Dr. Yosef Golowa is an experienced Interventional Radiologist (IR) who is certified by the American Board of Radiology. We will further discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure for you during a pre-treatment clinic visit.

Are You The Right Candidate For PAE?

You may be a candidate for PAE if:

  • You’re experiencing symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) 

  • You experience an adverse reaction to a medication such as intolerance, side effects, or allergy 

  • You want to preserve your sexual function 

  • You don’t want surgery and you’re looking for minimally-invasive alternatives 

  • You’re not a candidate for BPH surgical treatment options

Having an enlarged prostate does not need to be a constant discomfort. 1 Fibroid provides many treatment solutions from lifestyle changes to the most advanced minimally invasive treatments. If you are experiencing enlarged prostate symptoms contact our team by calling (212) 991-9991.

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