Endovascular embolization is a medical procedure to treat abnormal blood vessels in the brain and other parts of the body. It is an alternative to open surgery.
A small surgical cut will be made in the groin area. The health care provider will use a needle to create a hole in the femoral artery, a large blood vessel. Next, a tiny, flexible tube, called a catheter, is passed through the open skin and into the artery. Dye may flow through the catheter so that the artery may be seen on medical images.
While looking at live medical images of the area, the health care provider gently moves the catheter through the blood vessel up to the problem area.
Once the catheter is in place, the health care provider sends small plastic particles, glue, metal coils, foam, or a balloon through it to seal off the bad blood vessel. The sealing material used depends on your individual condition. (If coils are used, it is called coil embolization.) More than one type of material may be used.
The procedure is most often used to treat aneurysms in the brain, but it may be used for other medical conditions, where open surgery is considered risky. The general goal of the treatment is to prevent bleeding in the problem area and reduce the risk of a rupture of a blood vessel.
It may be used to treat:
- Brain aneurysm
- Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
- Carotid artery cavernous fistula (a problem with the large artery in the neck)
- Certain tumors
- Damage to artery
The procedure can take several hours. You will receive medicine to make you feel sleepy during the procedure.
Afterwards, you will need to rest, and may need to stay in the hospital overnight or longer.
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Reviewed By: James Lee, M.D., Department of Surgery, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.