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Is PAE Right for Me?

Who needs PAE, or prostate artery embolization?

There are numerous instances when prostate artery embolization, or PAE, should be seriously considered for treatment of urinary issues cause by an enlarged prostate. These are instances when we are minimizing side effects and down time, and working with technical factors, such as treating especially large prostates. If you’re wondering, “Who needs PAE?,” our Austin urology specialists can provide information about whether you are a good candidate for this enlarged prostate treatment.

In patients for whom side effects are the primary consideration, PAE should be highly considered.

It does not carry the risk of retrograde ejaculation, which is highly likely with any significant resection of the prostate gland. While retrograde ejaculation theoretically is not related to erectile function or libido, many patients find this unpleasant, and it certainly affects their sex lives.

Prostate artery embolization is also the only enlarged prostate treatment found to mildly improve erectile function in around 20% of patients. This is typically seen in men with larger prostates. They will generally say their erections are firmer and/or have more spontaneous erections. So if you’re wondering who needs PAE, it’s good to know that this treatment can improve quality of life for many men.

Lastly, PAE does not have the risk of the most dreaded complication of a prostate resection, which is urinary incontinence requiring wearing a diaper. While this is rarer with today’s therapies, it is still seen.

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Prostate size: Who needs PAE?

For men with enlarged prostates over 80 grams, the minimally invasive surgical therapies through the urethra are less effective and are generally not indicated. This leaves prostate artery embolization as the only minimally invasive options for prostates of this size.

Once prostate size is greater than 100-120 grams, there are even fewer options. However, for prostate artery embolization, the bigger the prostate, the greater the size reduction. So, for particularly large prostates, it will be the only minimally invasive option and is still highly effective.

A convenient, minimally invasive enlarged prostate treatment

The next great reason to consider a PAE for men with a busy lifestyle is the quick turnaround after the procedure. This is an outpatient, in-office procedure performed with sedation. From walking in to walking out, it will take somewhere around four hours. The only restriction is no heavy lifting for a couple of days.

Also, there is no requirement for a urinary catheter for one to two weeks. For patients working in an office or other public setting, this is ideal, as it avoids the maintenance that comes with carrying and disposing of urine throughout the day.

To learn more about this highly effective enlarged prostate treatment and to find out more about who needs PAE and whether it’s a good option for you, contact our Austin urology specialists to schedule a consultation.

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