Embolization - Preparing for & Going Home After
Embolization of the blood vessels in the brain is done in Interventional Radiology by our Neuroendovasular specialists. It may be done to treat a brain aneurysm or an arterial-venous malformation (AVM), or dural Arteriovenous Fistula (dAVF). It can also be used in combination with open neurosurgery or stereotactic radiosurgery to repair an AVM. What is embolized depends on the size, location, symptoms, hemodynamics, and anatomic vasculature of the area to be treated. The Neuro-Interventional doctor uses a special x-ray camera (fluoroscopy), contrast dye in order to see the blood vessels, and a special small catheter to check the blood vessels in the brain and then inject the embolization material through to the blood vessel.
The Neuro-Interventional doctor will inject small soft metal coils, a liquid embolic material or solid particle into the aneurysm or blood vessel to “block off” the aneurysm or problem area of the blood vessel.
If your vision is normal, you are not taking narcotic medicines, and your leg has healed, you may drive, unless the doctor has advised against it.
Your return to work will be discussed at the first clinic visit. The amount of time off work varies from 2-4 weeks.
This will depend upon your doctor's advice.
Although there are very few outward signs that you've had an embolization, your body has gone through a major surgery (a brain surgery) and you usually go home with ust a small bandage over the artery in your groin. You will need to take things a little easy for a while. Slowly work back into your routine, always within the guidelines set by your doctor. How much you can do depends on your level of comfort and fatigue.
- You should not soak in water for the next week
- You may, showere and gently wash the puncture site with mild soap and water. Do not rub this area, blot with a towel to dry.
- You may remove the bandage over your groin site when you shower.
- You may resume your normal bathing habits after 1 week
Things to Avoid Until You Talk with Your Doctor
- Contact sports
- Weight lifting
- Hard exercise, walking is ok
- Lifting more than 20-25 pounds
- Stooping or bending over (squat if you need to pick things up)
- Things that may raise your blood pressure
- Avoid all tobacco products and second-hand smoke
Resume the diet you were on before surgery. Try to increase the amount of fiber you eat and the water you drink because you do not want to strain to have a bowel movement. You should try to drink about 8 glasses of water a day. If you have questions about foods rich in fiber, please talk with your nurse.
Increase your fiber and water intake, as noted above. Walk and be as active as you can but follow the restrictions listed above. If you have problems, you can get stool softeners at the drugstore. Do not use suppositories or enemas.
Reasons to Call Your Doctor
- Feeling dizzy
- Trouble with speech
- Severe or increased headaches
- Vision changes
- Continued nausea or vomiting
- Feeling sleepy for long periods
- Change in behavior
- Problems with walking or balance
- Constipation not relieved by stool softeners and increased fiber and water
- Fever over 100.5° F for 24 hours
- Any signs of wound infection including redness, swelling or drainage
If you have any questions or concerns call
The neuroendovascular office at (608)263-4730 during normal business hours.
Your neuroendovascular surgeon is:_________________________________
Your admitting doctor is:___________________________________________
Your follow up appointment is:_______________________________________
After hours, weekends, and holidays, call the paging operator at (608) 262-0486 and ask for the doctor on call for neuro-interventional. If you live outside the area, call toll free at (800) 323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/17/2013
Copyright © 04/17/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4453
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