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  • Ari Isaacson, MD

What does it feel like to have a PAE?

Many times when I initially meet with prospective patients, they ask "What does it feel like to have a PAE?" The answer is: It doesn't feel like much.


The only thing that is actually painful about the procedure is when we give a numbing shot prior to placing a very skinny catheter (like a piece of spaghetti) into the the artery. The sting from the shot lasts only a few seconds. Afterward, there is nothing more that is sharp throughout the entire procedure. This is because you cannot feel the movement of the catheter inside the arteries or when we inject the microscopic beads into the prostate. You will, however, feel some warmth in the vessels when we inject the contrast dye we use to take pictures of the arteries, but it is not overtly painful.


So the next question that I am asked is "what kind of sedation will I get?" Because the procedure is not painful, there is no need to put patients to sleep or even provide deep sedation with a medication like propofol. But, to be honest, the table that you will lie on for the procedure is not a Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress... So, to keep you a little more comfortable we give oral medication to relax you before the procedure (valium) and then if needed, we give a small amount of IV pain medication during the procedure.


The good news about only needing a little sedation is that there are less side effects of the procedure and the recovery is quicker. Also it is much safer for men who have chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease.


If you know anyone who has had a PAE, feel free to fact check me on this. Most men who have undergone the procedure will tell you it is a piece of cake... or maybe easy as pie? -Little to no pain and a very quick recovery.


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