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Just like chemoembolization, another way to stop/slow tumors in the liver is to find the blood vessels that supply the tumor and use them to deliver radioactive beads to the tumor. The procedure is done with x-ray and ultrasound guidance, in the manner detailed above. It is usually done in at least two stages.

In the first stage, the blood vessels supplying the tumor are mapped. A tiny test dose of radiation is administered to the treatment areas. Then, after the procedure, the patient is sent to nuclear medicine for additional imaging to see if the test radiation stayed in the tumor. Afterwards, the patient is sent home.

The patient then returns for the second stage. The treatment dose of radiation is given to the arteries supplying the tumor. After the procedure, the patient is kept in the hospital overnight and the following morning additional imaging ensures that the treatment dose stayed in the tumor.

The procedure has a low risk of bleeding, infection, and damage to nearby organs. Patients should refrain from eating and drinking for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure so that we may give them medications to help them relax (moderate sedation). We typically perform the procedure for outpatients as well.

Doctors performing Radioembolization

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