Embolization is closing of a blood vessel that may be ruptured and bleeding into the patient's body. Embolization is also done to close off a blood vessel that could be feeding a tumor or fibroid. A highly specialized type of this procedure also performed in the hospital’s Radiology Department is a variocele embolization for men. A variocele embolization is performed to stop the flow of blood to varicose veins within the scrotum due to poorly performing valves.
The procedures starts with an Angiogram. [If you are not familiar with angiograms, learn more now.] A sheath is placed into a blood vessel in the upper leg to allow placement of a catheter in the vessel. Through this catheter almost microscopic substances (Embolization material) are placed into the blood vessel that stops the flow of blood. This Embolization (blockage) stops the internal bleeding or stops the blood flow to a tumor helping to kill it.
Generally there is no pain with this procedure. Except for our talking with the patient, most patients are unaware that the embolization is taking place. However, if a tumor is being embolized, the doctor will order pain medication as the stopping of blood flow to a tumor can cause some discomfort.
This procedure may require the patient to stay overnight. Depending on the location of the blood vessel, normally you can go home the next day and get back to your normal activity that evening. The doctor or nurse will let you know for sure.
The doctor will be able to tell you and your family the results as soon as the procedure is finished.