How to Say It: endo-vas-kyoo-lar embo-lie-zay-shun
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Endovascular coil embolization is a procedure to fill or close blood vessels. This prevents bleeding and rupture. It is an alternative to open surgery.
Reasons for Procedure
Endovascular embolization can treat many conditions such as:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will talk about possible problems such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The care team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor will give general anesthesia. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
A tiny incision will be made in the groin to access an artery. A thin, hollow tube (catheter) will be placed in the artery. It will be threaded up to the site. A special dye is injected. It makes it easier to see on a video monitor. X-rays will help the doctor find the right place. The blood vessel can be closed with:
They are inserted though the catheter and to the site. Imaging tests will confirm the blood vessels are closed. The catheter will be removed. The incision will be closed and bandaged.
How Long Will It Take?
30 minutes to several hours—the time depends on what needs to be done
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Medicines will ease pain after.
Average Hospital Stay
Normally, the length of stay is 2 days. If there are problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
During your stay, the healthcare staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection such as:
Recovery may take a few weeks. Some activities may be limited during this time. You may also need physical therapy.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you have:
Call for medical help right away for:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Brain Aneurysm Foundation
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Brain Injury Canada
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Catheter embolization. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=cathembol. Accessed September 6, 2021.
Endovascular (embolization) treatment of aneurysms. The Toronto Brain Vascular Malformation Study Group website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 6, 2021.
Rinkel GJE. Management of patients with unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Curr Opin Neurol. 2019;32(1):49-53.
Splenic artery aneurysm (SAA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/splenic-artery-aneurysm-saa. Accessed September 6, 2021.
Vascular malformations in the brain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vascular-malformations-in-the-brain. Accessed September 6, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 9/6/2021
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