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Tumour embolization, sometimes called transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), shrinks a liver tumour by cutting off its blood supply. Procedures commonly done in Alberta include chemoembolization and radioembolization.
Before the procedure you may get medicine to help you relax and to help with pain. The doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube into an artery in your groin or arm. This tube is called a catheter. The doctor will guide it into the artery that supplies blood to the tumour. Then the doctor will inject a dye through the catheter into the artery. The dye shows up on X-ray pictures. It allows the doctor to check blood flow to the liver and the tumour.
The doctor will send small particles (like grains of sand) through the tube into the artery. This mixture blocks the artery and stops blood from getting to the tumour. This causes the tumour to slowly shrink. The mixture may contain chemotherapy or radiation. It helps kill the tumour cells. You may need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Bit by bit, the tumour will be replaced with scar tissue in the months after this is done. This should not affect your liver's ability to do its job.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
For more information on embolization for liver cancer, watch this My Health Alberta video: Cirrhosis - Embolization for liver cancer For more information on liver cancer, go to www.CirrhosisCare.ca
Adaptation Date: 5/25/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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