Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

PAE is a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure performed by a board-certified interventional radiologist. PAE relieves symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) such as difficulties voiding, frequent urination, and incontinence by decreasing blood flow to the prostate and causing it to shrink.

Is PAE right for you?
PAE is for patients with enlarged prostates and associated urinary symptoms who are ineligible for or not interested in surgery or have an inability to control BPH with medication (due to side effects such as sexual dysfunction or poor efficacy).

Benefits of PAE
PAE is a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure performed by a board-certified interventional radiologist. PAE is performed with sedation (avoiding the risks of general anesthesia), often with same-day discharge.  PAE decreases the risks of incontinence, retrograde ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction.

During the PAE Procedure
PAE is a minimally invasive procedure using image guidance. The physician inserts a tiny catheter into an artery in the patient’s upper thigh or wrist and then guides it through the body’s blood vessels to the arteries supplying blood to the prostate. Tiny particles called microspheres are injected through the catheter and into the arteries, blocking blood flow to the prostate and causing the prostate to shrink. As the prostate shrinks, urinary symptoms improve over the coming weeks.

After the PAE Procedure
After this procedure, most patients are discharged home the same day. Pain and urinary irritation may occur for the first week, which can be controlled with medication that is prescribed at the time of the procedure. Most men experience an improvement in urinary tract function and incontinence within a few weeks. Patients should follow up with their interventional radiologist and urologist one month after the procedure.


  • What are the risks of PAE? Risks include blood in the urine, semen, or stool; bleeding; infection; bladder spasm; and/or injury to the blood vessels. A very rare but potentially serious complication of PAE is injury to the penis, bladder, or rectum.
  • Is a referral needed for this procedure? Please ask your physician or urologist regarding PAE.
  • Is PAE covered by insurance? Please call to discuss what billing options are available to you.

Next Steps
Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms of BPH and would like more information about PAE? Call 253.661.4461 or go to to learn more about prostate artery embolization, a minimally invasive procedure performed by one of our board-certified interventional radiologists. In conjunction with your urologist, we can determine if PAE is the right option for you.