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Expert Care for Head, Neck and Brain Tumor Embolization

Compassionate Head, Neck and Brain Tumor Embolization Care

Here, you’ll find a wide range of treatment options for head, neck and brain tumors. You have choices, which means you have the freedom to approach the healing process on your terms, and the ability to create a treatment plan that’s just right for you.

Using today’s most innovative techniques, including brain tumor embolization and head and neck tumor embolization, our team can help ensure the best possible outcomes when you undergo surgery. Fewer risks can lead to a faster recovery, which means we’ll get you back to living the life you love as quickly as possible.

About Head, Neck and Brain Tumor Embolization

Embolization is a procedure that can block blood flow to an area of the body. When someone has a tumor, embolization can help shrink the tumor by cutting off its blood supply. 

In the case of a head and neck tumor or brain tumor, embolization may be done on its own or before surgery. Embolization before surgery can help reduce the risks of bleeding during surgery. Because tumors near the brain and spinal cord can be difficult or even impossible to remove, reducing the size of the tumor before attempting surgery or chemotherapy can help improve the effectiveness of the treatment and minimize potential complications.  

Embolization can be an effective procedure to treat tumors in parts of the body that are not easily accessible, such as the head, neck and brain. Shrinking the tumor before surgery can make the tumor easier to remove and greatly reduce the risks of excessive blood loss and nerve damage during surgery. 

Head and neck tumor embolization may be recommended to treat cancerous growths in the:

  • Larynx, also called the voice box
  • Mouth
  • Sinuses
  • Throat

Brain tumor embolization helps treat:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Chordoma
  • Colloid cysts
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Glioma
  • Intraventricular tumors
  • Meningioma
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Skull base tumors

Embolization for a head, neck or brain tumor is a minimally invasive procedure. It is usually performed by a specialist called an interventional neuroradiologist. 

Before Embolization

Before embolization, your doctor will do a series of diagnostic tests to pinpoint the exact location of the blood vessels supplying the tumor. A cerebral or spinal angiogram uses contrast dye and an X-ray to create a map of the blood vessels in the body. Based on this map, the doctor can determine if the blood supply to the tumor is large enough to make embolization an effective treatment. 

During Embolization

Embolization is a catheter-based procedure. A catheter is a thin tube that can be threaded through blood vessels to access areas of the body that are diseased or damaged. This gives the neuroradiologist access to the area without a large incision and without the risks that are typically associated with traditional, or open, surgery. 

For this procedure, a small incision is usually be made in the groin area. Through this incision, the catheter will be threaded all the way up to the tumor in the head, neck or brain. The catheter is guided by an X-ray to ensure accuracy. The neuroradiologist then inserts a blocking agent into the blood vessels to stop the flow of blood. This blocking agent might be a coil, a plug, glue or a tiny balloon. 

After Catheter Embolization

Most people can return home 24 to 48 hours after a catheter embolization procedure. Full recovery can take anywhere from seven to 14 days. The incision for the catheter may be sore for several days and you may experience fatigue and flu-like symptoms in the days following your embolization. 

Your doctor can monitor your embolization closely to ensure that the blood supply to the tumor has been stopped. Several months after the procedure, imaging scans can show whether the tumor has shrunk. 

Patient talking with a doctor.

Expert Care Coordination

We know that getting treatment for a serious health condition can be scary. We’ll do everything we can to make your recovery as stress-free as possible. Your personal Care Coordinator will guide you through every step, from your initial consultation to follow-up care. 

Meet Your Care Coordinator