Tumor Embolization

Tumor embolization is a procedure performed before surgery to decrease the blood supply to a tumor.


Tumor embolization

How is tumor embolization performed?

A specialist will insert a catheter through a small incision near your thigh or wrist into a large blood vessel, guiding it through the blood vessels under x-ray guidance into the vessels supply blood to the tumor. We will inject an embolic material - platinum coils, microparticles or medical grade glue - through the catheter to block the blood vessel. When this is done, the catheter is removed and the incision is closed with a bandage. You can remove the bandage 24 hours later.

Are there risks?

Tumor embolization is a low-risk procedure, but there are always risks associated with any procedure, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood vessel injury
  • Reaction to the contrast dye
  • Seizure
  • Stroke

In serious cases, coma and even death are possible.

What will happen after the procedure?

After the procedure, you must lay flat in bed in the recovery room with your legs straight for three hours. You can then slowly sit upright and walk. You will spend one night in the hospital under close monitoring. Nurses will take your vital signs, perform neurological exams and check your pulses and puncture site periodically. If there are no concerns, you will be discharged the next morning. If there are no concerns, you will be discharged home the next morning, or you’ll stay for your upcoming surgery based on when it is scheduled.

What will happen once I’m home?

You will be tired from the medication so resting is important. We advise against driving and making important decisions for at least 24 hours. You can use 650mg of Tylenol every 6 hours as needed.

You can take the bandage off 24 hours after the procedure and leave the area open to air. Continue to monitor the site for the next week. You can shower 24 hours after the procedure. Gently wash the area with soap and water, patting dry with a clean towel. Do not rub the area. Avoid strenuous activity, lifting more than 10 pounds, hot tubs and riding a bike for a week.  You can resume a regular diet, home medications and light activity such as walking.

What should I look out for?

Monitor the area for redness, swelling, drainage, pain, bleeding or weakness/numbness in your leg. Bruising is normal, but if you notice oozing from the site, experience swelling that is tense or your leg becomes cold or weak, please contact our office or 911 immediately.  

Ayer Neuroscience Institute