Tumour embolization shrinks a liver tumour by cutting off its blood supply.
You may get medicine to help you relax and to help with pain before the procedure. The doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube into an artery near your groin. Or the tube may be put in your 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 send a dye that contains iodine through the catheter into the artery. The dye is called contrast material. It shows up on X-ray pictures. It allows the doctor to check blood flow to the liver and the tumour.
The doctor will send chemicals and small particles (like grains of sand) through the tube into the artery. This mixture blocks the artery. The block stops blood from getting to the tumour. This causes the tumour to slowly shrink. The liquid may contain chemotherapy medicine. 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 will not affect your liver's ability to do its job.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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