Vascular Embolization

Embolization is defined as the “therapeutic introduction of various substances into the circulation to occlude vessels, either to arrest or prevent haemorrhaging; to devitalize a structure, tumour, or organ by occluding its blood supply; or to reduce blood flow to an arteriovenous malformation.”

Venous malformations are the most common vascular malformation and are generally found in the head and neck area or in the extremities. Accurate diagnosis is necessary to establish cause and determine treatment.

What is embolisation for vascular malformations?

The embolisation procedure for treating vascular malformations is a minimally invasive method which aims to block blood vessel abnormalities which are causing the patient discomfort. The procedure is performed using specially designed materials, known as embolic agents.

How does the procedure work?
The interventional radiologist will insert a 2-3 mm catheter (tube) into a blood vessel in your groin and will then move the catheter under image guidance to the arteries which lead to the vascular malformation. When the particular vessel which is supplying the blood to the vascular malformation is found, the interventional radiologist will insert a smaller catheter. They will then insert glue or small metal spirals (coils) into this vessel, which causes the vessel or vessels to become blocked.

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