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What is Renal Artery Embolisation?

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Kidney Cancer UK News, Personal Stories - Blogs | 0 comments

By Hazel Jackson
Kidney Cancer UK Healthcare Professional Nurse

A Renal Artery Embolisation simply means blocking the blood flow to the cancer in the kidney. For some people, surgery or systemic cancer treatments (SACT) may not be an option due to other health factors making the negatives outweigh the benefits. In these situations you may be offered renal artery embolisation, normally it would only be offered if you are symptomatic.

The idea is that this would then starve the kidney of the oxygen and nutrients needed and prevent growth. This reduction in oxygen and nutrients would therefore help the cancer to shrink and help control your symptoms.

You may also be offered embolisation if you have a large tumour which has been deemed too large for surgery and are symptomatic. It may also be used to help reduce bleeding during surgery if you have a large tumour.

The procedure

It is a minor procedure that you would have done within the radiology department and you may be required to stay in the hospital for a couple of days afterwards. A sedative is normally administered to help you relax during the procedure and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area in your groin.

A thin catheter will be inserted into your groin by a doctor, the catheter will be pushed upwards until it reaches the renal artery that carries the blood to the cancer. Once it is in place they will then inject the substance they are using to block the vessel.

There are different ways of blocking the vessel, such as medical putty/glue, plastic beads or small metal coils.

It is important to note that this procedure does not cure the cancer as it has not been removed and there is a chance of it spreading in the future.


<a href="" target="_self">Malcolm Packer</a>

Malcolm Packer

Malcolm is Chief Executive Officer at Kidney Cancer UK and Kidney Cancer Scotland and has worked with the charity in various capacities for over 15 years.