Tumors of the Head, Neck, and Spine

Brain Tumors: Pre-Surgical Embolization Of Tumor Blood Vessels

A brain tumor is a cancerous or noncancerous mass of abnormal cells that form in the brain. There are instances where no symptoms occur, although the most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred Vision
  • Balance Problems
  • Seizures
  • Confusion

When removal of the tumor via surgery is the best treatment option, it is beneficial to shrink the tumor prior to the surgery via embolization. This minimally invasive technique can decrease the size of the mass and make the surgical removal of the tumor easier. Embolization is generally conducted within a few days prior to the surgery. For this, a catheter is inserted through the groin area and connected to the blood vessels that feed the tumor. An image is taken of the blood vessels and then the embolic agent is introduced in order to reduce the flow of blood to the tumor.

An embolization minimizes the amount of bleeding that occurs during the surgery which decreases the need for a blood transfusion. This also serves to reduce the length of time it takes to complete the surgery.