Endovascular embolization fills or closes blood vessels to prevent bleeding and rupturing. This is an alternative to open surgery.
Endovascular embolization can treat many conditions, including:
- Brain aneurysm — a weakened blood vessel in the brain that collects blood and can bleed
- Vascular malformations — abnormal connections between arteries and veins (these include arteriovenous malformations)
The procedure can be used alone or with other treatments. It will not fix damaged areas of the brain, but it can improve quality of life by stopping bleeding or preventing rupture.
Read about minimally invasive coiling, a type of endovascular embolization we offer for brain aneurysms.
How Endovascular Embolization Works
Your doctor makes a tiny incision in your groin area to access an artery and threads a catheter up to the site. Your doctor injects special dye through the catheter to better see the weakened or malformed area on a monitor and in the X-rays.
Once the catheter is in position, your doctor inserts medication, coils or man-made material into the catheter to the site. This closes or fills the blood vessel. Imaging tests make sure the blood vessels have closed.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes. Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage any pain and discomfort after the procedure.
You will need to lie still for 6-8 hours. You can expect a two-day hospital stay, and an extended stay if you have any complications.
When you get home, you may have to adjust your activity level while you recover. This may take up to a week. Home care may include:
- Resting when you need to
- Caring for the wound
- Physical or rehabilitative therapy