Embolization is a procedure used to occlude blood vessels. This may be performed prior to surgical removal of a kidney, in cases of hemorrhage, arterial-venous malformations (AVM), ablation of malignant neoplasm and benign uterine fibroids.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the exam.

Most patients are admitted through the Admissions and Testing Unit about two hours prior to test time. After you check in, Admissions and Testing staff will prep you for your exam, including checking vital signs, taking any needed laboratory tests, and starting an IV if necessary.

If you are taking any blood thinners, diabetic medication or are allergic to contrast, please notify us when your exam is scheduled, as there are special instructions that go along with these conditions.

What can I expect during the exam?

The exam is conducted by an interventional radiologist and a specially trained interventional radiology technologist.

You will lie on the exam table, and a nurse will place you on a monitor and administer sedatives.

The area of access will be shaved and sterilely cleaned and draped. A flexible catheter will be inserted into the femoral artery (near your groin) and contrast dye will be injected to guide the radiologist into the correct vessel selected for occlusion. Upon proper placement of the catheter; liquid, particles or coils are injected into the vessel until it is occluded. At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and direct pressure will be applied to the access site until bleeding is stopped.

The procedure will take approximately one to three hours.

What can I expect after the exam?

Typically, you will be admitted to the hospital for overnight observation. The radiologist or interventional radiology nurse will follow up with you before your discharge.