Health Topics

Embolization

Embolization is a nonsurgical procedure for obstructing small blood vessels and blocking the flow of blood. It is used to treat certain types of vascular malformations, which are abnormal clusters of blood vessels that occur during fetal development. 

A doctor called an interventional radiologist places a tiny plastic tube called a catheter through a large blood vessel, usually in the leg. The doctor then positions the tip of the catheter into an abnormal artery or vein and injects small foam-like particles, coils or other substances. This closes the blood vessel and prevents the flow of blood into the malformation. 

X-rays are taken during the procedure so the doctor can clearly see which blood vessels need embolization. When the procedure is completed, the catheter is removed and pressure is applied to the catheter site to prevent bleeding. Embolization usually takes three to four hours.  Your child will receive general anesthesia and will not experience pain during the procedure. 

You will be able to stay with your child until just before the procedure is performed and will be escorted to the surgical waiting area for the duration of the procedure.

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Need for an Embolization Procedure

Before an Embolization Procedure

After an Embolization Procedure

After Discharge from the Hospital

Activity After an Embolization Procedure

Possible Complications

Call Your Child's Doctor If:


Last Updated: 12/2013