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Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Endovascular embolization

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

Treatment - endovascular embolism; Coil embolization

Description

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 this tube 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 area being studied.

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.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

The procedure is most often used to treat aneurysms in the brain, but it may be used for other medical conditions when open surgery is considered risky. The general goal of the treatment is to prevent bleeding in the problem area and to reduce the risk of blood vessel rupture.

It may be used to treat:

  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Carotid artery cavernous fistula (a problem with the large artery in the neck)
  • Certain tumors

Risks

  • Bleeding
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Failure to completely treat the lesion
  • Infection
  • Damage to artery
  • Stroke
  • Symptoms that keep returning

Before the Procedure

After the Procedure

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.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How fast you recover depends on your overall health, severity of your medical condition, and other factors.

References

Johnston SC. Recommendations for the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms: a statement for healthcare professionals from the Committee on Cerebrovascular Imaging of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Radiology. Stroke. 2002; 33(10): 2536-4.

Schnipper D. Management of intracranial complications of sinus surgery. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2004; 37(2): 453-72, ix.

Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, 17th ed. St. Louis, M0: WB Saunders; 2004.

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    Review Date: 1/16/2009

    Review By: Joseph P. Hart, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Medical University of Southern Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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