Embolization is not an
open surgical procedure and requires specialized training. Most
endovascular therapists are neuroradiologists or neurosurgeons
who have completed training (ranging from one to two years) in
endovascular techniques after their medical (five years) and
speciality training (five to seven years).
Preadmission will be done one day or two prior to the
embolization and routine blood tests may be done. After
midnight, no food or drink is allowed.
The Day of the Procedure
After midnight, no food or drink is allowed. You will be taken
from the "same day unit" or "preadmission area" to the
Neuroangiography suite where the procedure will be performed.
Just before the procedure, the nurses will shave one or both
groins. Embolization is done under general anaesthesia. After
the anaesthetic is administered, a catheter will be threaded up
a blood vessel in your groin all the way up into the aneurysm.
Very tiny catheters are used. This is a similar procedure to a
cerebral angiography except that in addition to dye being
injected to show the aneurysm, these tiny catheters are
positioned near the aneurysm and platinum coils are inserted
into the aneurysm to embolize it.
The length of the
procedure is often not predictable, and waiting family members
need not to be frightened because a case may takes longer than
expected. If the doctors do not think that they can safely
embolize the aneurysm, then the embolization procedure will be
You will be taken to the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit or Step-down Unit
where you will be observed closely overnight. Your doctor will instruct you
to remain still, lying flat in bed for up to eight hours. This rest period
allows the groin artery to heal.
If all goes well, you will be
transferred to a neuroscience floor the next day and discharged home the
following day. Most patients treated by embolization will also need to
return for a follow-up angiogram or magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA),
usually performed several months after the treatment to confirm that the
outcome of the treatment is stable in time.