What is Embolization?
Embolization is a minimally invasive interventional radiology procedure used to stop blood supply to tumors. During the procedure, your doctor may also deliver medications directly to the tumor. By blocking the blood, nutrient, and oxygen supply to the tumor, it will stop growing and either shrink or die.
Embolization is primarily used to treat liver cancer and cancers that have spread to the liver (metastatic). Embolization can also be used to decrease blood loss during surgery and may be used before surgery of tumors in the bone, kidney, and pelvic region.
Types of Embolization
Types of embolization include:
- Trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE) – under local anesthesia, an incision is made in the groin. Then using X-ray guidance, a thin, hollow tube (catheter) is sent through the vein to your tumor. Chemotherapy will be delivered directly to the tumor using a small needle. The blood vessel is then blocked to cut off blood supply to the tumor
- Radioembolization – under local anesthesia and using X-ray guidance, a catheter is used to place radioactive particles into the blood stream near the tumor. The particles block the blood stream and the radiation shrinks the tumor
- Bland embolization – under local anesthesia, medications are injected into the blood stream near the tumor to block blood supply to the tumor
What to Expect During an Embolization Procedure
An embolization is a minimally invasive procedure, performed under general anesthesia. Typically, you will be released the same day, or spend one night in the hospital following the procedure.
- Small incisions
- Low-risk of damage to surrounding tissue
- Can be repeated if the tumor returns
What is an Angiogram?
Before an embolization, you must undergo an angiogram so that the doctor has a road map of the blood vessels to the tumor. During an angiogram, a contrast dye is injected into the blood vessels near the tumor, then an X-ray will be used to visualize blood flow to the tumor. The doctor will use this road map to target the blood supply to the tumor.
Angiograms & Embolization to Treat Tumors
Our interventional radiologists have specialty training in providing targeted treatments using image guidance. Interventional radiology procedures can often replace open surgical procedures, meaning there is less risk, less pain, and shorter recovery times for you.
Bassett Healthcare Network offers angiograms and various types of embolization in Central New York, including in Cooperstown.