Pre-operative Embolization of Tumors

Pre-operative embolization of tumors of the brain and spine is a treatment offered as an adjunct to open surgery. Often large or highly vascular tumors require embolization to decrease the amount of blood supply during surgical resection. Embolization is done under fluoroscopy, where a catheter is brought up through the artery in the groin into the blood vessels feeing the tumor. Pictures of the blood vessels are taken and if appropriate a glue type material is then injected into the feeding blood vessels to reduce the flow of blood to the tumor. This procedure is usually done within a few days of the surgery. By doing pre-operative embolization, the need for blood transfusions and the duration of the operations is often decreased.