Tumor embolization is an important adjunctive therapy for head, neck and spine tumor management. Tumor embolization is done by endovascular technique which is minimally invasive and it blocks the blood supply to the tumor. In most instances, it is reserved for highly vascularized tumors and it is performed as a preparation for later surgical resection of the tumor. With tumor embolization, the aim is to reduce the blood supply to the tumor which can help reduce the blood loss in actual surgical resection of the tumor. The hyper vascular tumors of head, neck and spine for which embolization may be needed include hemangioblastomas, hemangiomas, meningiomas, juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas, paragangliomas, and intracranial metastatic tumors.
Embolization is performed by endovascular surgeon by performing a small incision in your groin. The surgeon then advances a navigating catheter through the femoral artery up to the artery supplying the tumor. The surgeon then introduces embolization materiel (such as ploy vinyl alcohol, Gelfoam or micro coil) into the tumor supplying artery.
Please see neurosurgical procedures on more information on head, neck, and spine tumor removal surgery.