Interventional & Vascular

Prostate Artery Embolization

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE)

Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat enlarged prostates, a condition also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As the prostate becomes enlarged, it presses on the urethra and causes lower urinary tract symptoms. More than half of all men in their 60s and as many as 90% of men aged 70-89 years have symptoms of BPH. 


Symptoms can include frequent urination, dribbling at the end of urinating, inability to urinate, incomplete emptying of bladder, incontinence, and difficulty starting urination. These symptoms are not only disruptive to a man’s life, but also may be interrupting the spouse’s sleep.


For BPH diagnosis, patients generally undergo a urine flow and dynamics test and a digital rectal exam, which helps assess the size of the prostate. Imaging like MRI, CTA or ultrasound are often performed to provide physicians with a visual of the prostate gland. Then, Dr. Dunleavy, our highly skilled interventional radiologist trained in the PAE procedure, works with your Primary Care Provider and Urologist to decide if PAE is right for you.


Prostate Artery Embolization is performed in the Windsong Interventional and Vascular Suite for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. This procedure is a minimally invasive treatment performed as an outpatient with zero hospital days and results include rapid symptomatic improvement, reduced recovery, and diminished risk of side effects, including erectile dysfunction.

The Prostate Artery Embolization Procedure

The PAE procedure begins with a tiny incision in your upper thigh or wrist after a mild sedation medication is administered. The interventional radiologist uses this incision to insert a catheter into your arteries and guide it near your prostate. Embosphere® Microspheres, tiny round particles each about the size of a grain of sand, are injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels that feed your prostate, reducing its blood supply. By reducing the blood flow to the prostate with PAE, the prostate rapidly shrinks and allows for improved urination without the surgical risks.

Benefits of Prostate Artery Embolization

In order to avoid possible risks, it is important for men to understand that PAE is a challenging procedure that should only be performed by experienced and properly trained interventional radiologists possessing a strong understanding of pelvic vascular anatomy. Dr. Dunleavy is a highly skilled interventional radiologist trained in the PAE procedure. He works collaboratively with the Primary Care Provider and Urologist to offer PAE when it provides the greatest benefit. PAE is not always the right choice and medical management and surgery may also be considered.

Benefits include:

  • Shorter hospital stay and recovery time
  • Low risk of sexual side effects
  • Low risk of urinary incontinence
  • Shorter urinary catheterization time (may be avoided completely)
  • Decreased discomfort
  • Expertise Critical for Successful Treatment

After Prostate Artery Embolization

Patient’s and spouses report excellent quality of life improvements and high satisfaction after PAE. In most cases relief begins to occur within days as the prostate shrinks, relieving pressure on the urethra and improving symptoms. To learn more or take a survey to see if you are a candidate, visit or

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is at risk for BPH?

As men age they are more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. The rate of occurrence changes over a man’s lifetime with a 50% occurrence in the 60’s to nearly 90% for those aged 70-89. Black and Hispanic men are at a higher risk.

What locations offer PAE?

This procedure is offered at our Williamsville office.

How do I schedule a PAE?

Request an appointment online or contact us at 716-929-9484.

What about billing and/or insurance coverage?

Your insurance card must be presented at your appointment, and a co-pay may be due, depending on the requirements of your insurance provider. Windsong will verify insurance coverage and benefits; however, specific questions regarding your policy and coverage should be directed to your insurance carrier, as insurance plans and benefits vary widely. Please check the list below to see if we accept your insurance, but also clarify with your provider regarding your specific plan.

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