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Chemoembolization is a procedure that allows a dose of chemotherapy drugs to be administered directly to your tumor. This procedure allows for the chemo drugs to be given to the tumor and lessens the side effects associated with chemotherapy. TACE is most often used to treat liver tumors.
An anesthetic (numbing medicine) will be applied to your skin. Dr. Christenson will make a small incision in your groin then thread a catheter (small plastic tube) from your groin into the artery in your liver that carries blood to the tumor. Chemotherapy is sent through the catheter into the tumor. Then tiny beads are injected into the artery. These beads travel to the tumor and block the blood supply.
You will have a specific treatment plan that will be discussed with you prior to the procedure. The most common treatment schedule is as follows:
Week 1: Chemoembolization Round #1: The liver has 2 lobes. In the first round of chemoembolization to the liver, TACE is done on 1 lobe.
Week 3 or 4: You will have a clinic visit or phone consult to see how you are feeling and how TACE is affecting you.
Week 4 or 5: Chemoembolization Round #2 (if needed) : TACE will be done on the other lobe of your liver if your tumors are in both lobes. If the tumor is only in 1 lobe you will have radiology imaging (MRI or CT) and blood test. These test will tell us how your liver is responding to TACE.
Week 8 or 9: Chemoembolization Round #3 (if needed): TACE will be done to the most affected parts of your liver. If you do not need more TACE you will have MRI or CT scans to find out how your liver is responding to TACE.
Most people receive doxorubicin (Adriamycin).
The most common complications are:
Before your TACE you will be given a sedative medication through your IV. The medication may make you sleepy and will help to reduce any discomfort you may have during the procedure.
For some people staying awake for the procedure may be difficult or not possible. These people may need anesthesia (medicines to make you sleep during the procedure). Let us know right away if you:
Preparing for your Procedure
What happens after the procedure?
When You Get Home
Most people have some side effects after chemoembolization. These side effects may include:
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you would like more information on interventional radiology, please visit the following websites: