Embolization is a nonsurgical procedure for obstructing 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 within the abnormal artery or vein and injects embolic agents, coils or other substances such as particles in order to close or decrease the blood flow through these vascular malformations.

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 can take a long time depending on the extent of the malformation. Your child will receive general anesthesia and will not experience pain during the procedure.