Tumor Embolization

Tumor embolization shuts down the blood supply to the tumor which reduces blood loss during surgical resection.  A secondary benefit from embolization can be that tumor margins are more easily identified, and a tumor can be removed more completely and with less effort.

When is the procedure recommended?

A tumor embolization procedure is typically performed prior to a planned surgical resection.

How is the procedure performed?

The procedure involves inserting a catheter into the patient's groin and guiding it into the blood vessels that supply the tumor. 

X-ray dye is then injected into the blood vessel to examine the tumor's blood supply, and material is injected through the catheter to block the blood vessel. The procedure is typically performed within a few days of planned surgery. 

The procedure helps cut off the blood vessels to the tumor, which can improve bleeding control during the surgical removal. Without blood, the tumor will shrink or at least grow more slowly. The type of material used to block blood flow depends on the type of tumor, its location, and the size of the blood vessels.

What are the benefits?

  • Easier to control bleeding, especially in highly vascular tumors
  • Decreases the risk to nearby tissue
  • Provides ability to identify tumor margins, to help with more complete tumor removal
  • Reduces the risk of recurrence
  • Can temporarily or permanently relieve symptoms and slow or stop tumor growth


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