Tumor Embolization

Head and Neck Tumor Embolization in Thousand Oaks, CA | VNSC

Tumors are abnormal growths of cells that can occur anywhere in the body. While some tumors are benign and do not pose a threat to health, others are malignant and can be dangerous. Tumors in the head and neck can be particularly dangerous because they can affect critical structures such as the brain, spinal cord, and major blood vessels. If left untreated, they can cause serious health complications and may even be life-threatening.

Tumor embolization for the head and neck is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed using a small catheter and has a quick recovery time. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a head or neck tumor, it is important to explore all treatment options, including embolization, to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Quadruple board-certified in neurology, vascular neurology, and critical care neurology, Dr. M. Asif Taqi is a renowned neurointerventionalist who is highly skilled in performing head and neck tumor embolization. He is an award-winning physician with years of experience and training in the most advanced techniques and technologies. Dr. Taqi and his team of expert doctors are dedicated to providing patients with the best possible treatment and care.

Learn more about embolization for head and neck tumors by reading on or contacting Vascular Neurology of Southern California today. We have Southern California offices in West Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Lancaster, as well as a Las Vegas, NV, location.

What is Tumor Embolization, and Why is it Necessary?

Tumors located in or around the brain can be particularly challenging to treat because of the delicate nature of the surrounding tissues. The brain-covering membranes (meninges), cranial nerves, the pituitary gland, and the pineal gland are all located in close proximity to the brain and can be affected by tumors.

Tumors in these areas can bleed heavily during surgery, making it difficult for the interventional neurologist to perform the surgical procedures safely and effectively. In some cases, the bleeding may be so severe that surgery is not possible.

Tumor embolization is a medical procedure used to cut off the blood supply to a tumor. This is done by injecting small particles, known as embolic agents, into the blood vessels that supply the tumor with oxygen and nutrients. The embolic agents block the blood vessels and cause the tumor to shrink.

It is important to seek out experienced and skilled interventional neurosurgeon like Dr. Taqi, who are trained in handling these challenging cases.

What are the Benefits of Head and Neck Tumor Embolization?

The benefits of head and neck tumor embolization include:

  • Minimally invasive: The procedure is performed through a small catheter, so there is no need for major surgery.
  • Quick recovery: Patients can usually go home the same day and can return to normal activities within a few days.
  • Effective: The procedure has been shown to be efficacious in shrinking or eliminating tumors in the head and neck.

What Happens During a Head or Neck Embolization Treatment?

Dr. Taqi is highly skilled in performing neck or head tumor embolization and will take great care to ensure the procedure is performed safely and effectively.

Each embolization procedure has several general stages:

Cerebral or Spinal Angiogram

Before the procedure, it may be necessary to perform a cerebral or spinal angiogram to map the blood vessels of the tumor. This is done by injecting a contrast dye through a small catheter and using a special camera or fluoroscope to capture images of the blood vessels.

The contrast dye provides a roadmap of the blood vessels and allows the neurointerventionalist to determine how the tumor is supplied with blood and whether it is suitable for embolization treatment. Additional imaging, such as an MRI or CT scan, may also be required to confirm the diagnosis of the tumor.

If the patient is pregnant or has certain medical devices, alternative imaging methods, such as an ultrasound or MRI, may be used.

Incisions and Embolization Process

During the procedure, the endovascular neurosurgeon will make a small incision in the femoral artery in the patient’s groin and insert a catheter through the incision and up to the tumor.

Using imaging technology, the neurointerventionalist will inject an embolic agent, such as a polymer, microspheres, microbeads, or microcoils, through the catheter to block the blood vessels and cut off the blood supply to the tumor. This causes the tumor to shrink or disappear.

Head and Neck Tumor Embolization Recovery

After the procedure, the patient will be observed for a period of time to ensure that there are no complications. They will then be able to go home the same day and can usually return to normal activities within a few days.

A member of Dr. Taqi’s staff will keep in contact with the patient after being discharged from the hospital and will discuss follow-up testing as needed.

Why Choose VNSC for Neck and Head Tumor Embolization?

At Vascular Neurology of Southern California, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality neurovascular care Thousand Oaks, West Hills, Oxnard, Calabasas, and Ventura County areas, along with Las Vegas, NV. Our team of specialized, award-winning doctors and staff are highly trained and experienced in the field and are committed to offering the most advanced and effective neurological treatments available for conditions such as strokes, brain aneurysms, migraines, and more. 

We pride ourselves on our compassionate and caring approach and strive to make every patient feel comfortable and well-cared for. If you are in need of neurovascular treatment, we invite you to visit our practice and experience the exceptional care that we have to offer.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a tumor in the head or neck, it is important to seek the highest level of care. Our doctors will work with you to determine if head and neck tumor embolization is the right treatment option and will be with you every step of the way during the procedure and recovery. Request an appointment today to get started.

Neck and Head Tumor Embolization – FAQs

Embolization procedures are generally not considered to be very painful. The procedure is usually performed with conscious sedation, so the patient is awake but relaxed. Some patients may experience slight discomfort or pressure during the procedure, but this can typically be managed with pain medication. After the procedure, patients may experience some mild soreness or discomfort at the site of the catheter insertion, but this should resolve within a few days. Overall, the level of pain associated with an embolization procedure is usually minimal and can be effectively managed with medication.

The length of the procedure can vary, but it typically takes several hours to complete.

Embolization procedures carry a risk of complications, as with any medical procedure. Some of the potential risks associated with embolization include:

  • Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding at the site of the catheter insertion or from the blood vessels that are targeted during the procedure.
  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection at the site of the catheter insertion or in the blood vessels that are targeted during the procedure.
  • Embolism: There is a risk that the substance used to block or reduce blood flow to the tumor could travel to other parts of the body, causing an embolism.
  • Allergic reaction: There is a risk of an allergic reaction to the substances used during the procedure, such as the dye or the substance used to block or reduce blood flow.
  • Damage to surrounding tissue: There is a risk that the procedure could damage the surrounding tissue, such as the blood vessels or nerves.

Overall, the risks associated with embolization procedures are considered to be low, and most patients do not experience any complications. However, it is essential for patients to be aware of the potential risks and to discuss them with their provider before undergoing the procedure.

The length of time it takes for a head tumor embolization to heal can vary depending on a number of factors, including the tumor’s size and location and the patient’s overall health. In general, the recovery time after a head tumor embolization is relatively short, and most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days of the procedure.