Utilizing Embolization in Southeastern MA at Southcoast Health
Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to block off a blood vessel, such as a vein or artery. It involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin or elbow. The doctor guides the catheter to the precise treatment area using contrast dye and X-rays. The medication or embolic agent is then injected through the catheter. Some embolic agents fill up the vessel to physically block it, while other agents can dissolve the vessel, essentially sealing it off.
Additional X-rays are taken to confirm that the treatment worked and blood flow has stopped. Find a doctor or location near you to ask about embolization therapy in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Reasons for Embolization
Embolization stops bleeding or blocks blood flow to or from an area. Your doctor may recommend embolization to treat the following:
- Blood vessel malformations
- Cancerous tumors to cut off blood supply and shrink the tumor
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Uterine fibroid tumors causing heavy or unusually long menstrual bleeding
- Varicoceles (enlarged veins in the scrotum)
How to Prepare for an Embolization Procedure
Your doctor will give you instructions about what to do before your procedure. In general, you can prepare for embolization by:
- Checking with your insurance company about your coverage
- Making arrangements for help during your recovery
- Not eating for about eight hours before your procedure if you are having sedation
- Stopping aspirin or other blood thinners as directed by your doctor
What to Expect After Embolization
You will need to keep your arm or leg straight for about six hours after the procedure. This helps control bleeding from the catheter incision site. Pain is the most common side effect after embolization. Cramping for up to 12 hours is also common for women with fibroid tumor embolizations. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate type of pain reliever.
If you didn’t have bleeding before the procedure, you will likely go home within 24 hours. If you were bleeding beforehand or have significant pain afterward, your stay may be longer.
Discover the best imaging exam for your needs at your local Southcoast Health radiology location.
Southcoast Health provides radiology services, including embolization, in Fall River, North Dartmouth, New Bedford, MA and parts of Rhode Island.