Embolization in short is the obliteration of blood vessels feeding diseased tissue like tumors, vascular malformations to deprive them from flow which ultimately interrupts the process by which disease progresses. Embolization can also use the same principle of obliteration to deliver medication in a precise manner to the affected organ, to quickly stop bleeding and hemorrhage in a vessel.

Embolization is a very advanced form of treatment where sophisticated tiny equipment is used to navigate the body’s vasculature without the need for open surgery, wound incision or significant downtime. It is a medicine of the future.

Few examples to illustrate the advanced nature of this procedure can be cited. A brain aneurysm can be shut down with tiny coils, a brain vascular malformation can be shut down with glue without the need for open skull, chemotherapy medicines can be delivered to a liver tumor directly avoiding systemic side effects, a life threateneing bleeding vessel near a stomach ulcer can be rapidly occluded, fibroids in the uterus can be treated by cessation of blood flow in a same day surgery without the need for any incision or significant downtime.

Figure 1 This picture illustrates how fibroid tumors can appear anywhere in the uterus

Figure 2 A tiny catheter is inserted at the hip level and advanced into the uterine artery feeding the fibroids

Figure 3 Here a close view of how the beads distribute to the vessels feeding the fibroids

Figure 4 From left to right a large fibroid treated with embolization has significantly shrunk overtime