Endovascular embolization is one of our newest procedures, using tiny metal coils (embolization coiling) or other substances to cut off blood supply to problematic blood vessels.
Endovascular embolization offers an alternative, minimally invasive approach for treating aneurysms before they rupture. It can also prepare arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) for easier and safer surgical removal (resection) or treatment by stereotactic radiosurgery.
Endovascular Embolization at St. Joseph’s Hospital
Our endovascular embolization offers several key features:
- Expertise: Our neurosurgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures — procedures that start with a smaller incision and use smaller, specialized tools and cameras.
- Careful deliberation: Our neurosurgeons work closely with you and your loved ones to determine the best approach. For example, in many patients surgical clipping might provide better treatment for an aneurysm than endovascular embolization. Learn more about our surgical clipping.
- Advanced tools: For blood vessels that get treated with spring-like coils, we offer a variety of shapes, sizes and coatings for individualized care. For other cases, we use the latest, proven substances, like polymers or liquid glues.
- Team Approach: Our neurosurgeons partner with experienced interventional radiologists to deliver the best possible care.
Endovascular Coiling: Treatment Benefits for Aneurysms
While endovascular coiling is not suitable for every patient with an aneurysm, when appropriate it can provide advantages over surgical clipping:
- No need to create an opening in the skull
- Shorter hospitalization and recovery
- The chance to use less anesthesia
Endovascular Embolization: What to Expect
There are several steps our doctors take to perform an endovascular embolization:
- You receive general anesthesia to put you completely asleep, or medication to block the pain and help you relax.
- We make a tiny incision on your upper leg, insert a thin tube called a catheter and thread it up the femoral artery toward the brain.
- A special dye injected into the artery makes it appear more clearly on X-rays and provide a roadmap.
- We position the catheter at the problematic blood vessel.
- The blocking agent — one or more platinum coils, plastic particles, glue or other special substances – is sent through the catheter to the blood vessel. A clot then forms around the blocking agent, creating a plug and stopping further blood flow.
- We remove the catheter and close your incision.
- You recover in the Intensive Care unit (ICU) for at least a night, with careful monitoring.
For more information or for a physician referral, please call (813) 644-4322.