Embolization is used to block a blood vessel. It is commonly used to stop bleeding as well as to stop blood flow to a tumor in order to shrink it or in preparation for removal.
There are two types of embolization most frequently used in treatment of neuro conditions:
- Coil embolization is when the interventionist accesses the patient’s femoral artery and inserts a catheter through the blood stream to the site of the problem. Once the catheter reaches the hemorrhage or tumor, the interventionist threads a micro catheter through it and then places tiny platinum coils into the bleeding area, blocking it off and stopping the blood flow. Coil embolization is most commonly used to treat aneurysms.
- Embolization can also block blood flow using liquid embolic agent, often called “glue,” which hardens to block the blood vessel. Embolization is often used to treat AVMs, AVFs and other vascular malformations as well as tumors.