The purpose is either to cut off blood supply or to fill a sac (also creating a thrombus). Endovascular embolization is a procedure used to treat hemorrhage, cranial tumors, or aneurysms. The procedure can be life saving. Bleeding can be stopped in cases of trauma, epistaxis (nosebleed), coughing up blood from the lungs (hemoptysis), gastrointestinal bleeding, hemorrhage to solid organs, and postcesarean, postoperative, or postpartum bleeding in the abdomen or pelvis. Additionally, endovascular embolization is used to cut off the blood supply to cranial tumors which eventually causes tumor cell destruction and tumor mass shrinkage from lack of oxygen and nourishment. The procedure can also be utilized for packing an aneurysm with coils, to prevent rupture and possible death from intracranial hemorrhage.
Embolization is an indication for treatment of many clinical entities. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and elective cases require pre-procedural evaluation with an anesthesiologist. The procedure requires a brief inpatient stay for one to two days. Dietary restrictions and medical work-up are usually indicated before elective surgery (i.e., cranial tumors). If an aneurysm or tumor cannot be safely embolized, the procedure is terminated. For bleeding, the procedure may likely be an emergency.
Laith Farid Gulli MD, Robert Ramirez DO, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,