These are tumors that form from blood vessels.
Endovascular embolization of vascular tumors in the head or neck is performed pre-operatively to reduce the blood supply to a tumor. This effectively reduces the blood loss during the operation making it easier and safer.
Embolization is performed by placing a catheter directly into the blood supply of the tumor. Embolic material, such as polyvinyl alcohol, particles, glue or onyx, is then injected through the catheter to close off the blood vessels supplying the tumor and embolize the capillary bed of the tumor
There are many vascular tumors that can be treated prior to surgery. These most commonly include meningiomas, juvenile nasoangiofibromas and paragangliomas.
A meningioma is a benign tumor that arises from the coverings of the brain (dura). These tumors are usually asymptomatic and found incidentally on CT or MRI. They may become symptomatic when they become large, causing headache, weakness, mood or personality changes. These can be embolized using tiny particles that look like sand to decrease blood flow to the tumor making resection relatively bloodless.
Juvenile nasoangiofibromas are unusual tumors found in teenage boys. They grow in the back of the nose and present with frequent nose bleeds. These tumors are easily diagnosed with CT or MRI. They are embolized using particles that reduce blood flow to the tumor make resection safer.