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Renal Angiomyolipoma Embolization

Renal angiomyolipoma, a benign kidney tumor, typically goes unnoticed without symptoms and might be found incidentally during evaluations for other medical concerns. The management approach involves monitoring for growth or bleeding, which can pose a significant risk.

Management and Intervention Approaches to Treating Renal Angiomyolipoma

IR treatments for liver cancer are minimally invasive, targeted procedures designed to treat liver cancer without damaging nearby tissue. These treatments combine image guidance (X-rays, ultrasound, CT, or MRI), heat or cold energy, specialized catheters, and/or tiny particles to destroy liver tumors or control their progression.

Treatment options range from observation and routine monitoring to pharmaceutical intervention with mTOR inhibitors and surgical interventions. The treatment choice depends on the tumor’s size, symptoms, potential malignancy risk, and the patient's specific circumstances, such as age and healthcare access.

IR  treatments for liver cancer care that are commonly performed at our practice include:

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  • Surgery — In some cases, a surgeon can remove all or part of the kidney, including the AML tumor.  However, more modern treatment techniques have evolved and surgery is becoming less common for this condition.
  • Renal Angiomyolipoma Embolization — Embolization refers to a procedure where some type of material is used to block blood flow in a blood vessel. It involves the insertion of a small catheter to deliver embolic agents to the tumor’s arteries, curbing its blood supply.  Successful embolization prevents future bleeding, and may restrict growth of the tumor as well.
  • Radioembolization (Y-90) — This is another treatment that pairs radiation therapy with embolization (blocking of blood vessels). In this procedure, an interventional radiologist guides a catheter into the liver arteries and delivers a specialized tiny particle with Yttrium-90 (a radioactive isotope) directly into the blood vessels supplying the tumor. The radioactive energy from these particles kills tumor tissue after the procedure.

How Does Embolization Work?

Embolization is an image-guided procedure that blocks blood flow to specific body areas. It is commonly applied for treating tumors, aneurysms, or vascular abnormalities, and should only be performed by highly trained physicians. This minimally invasive treatment is performed by the specialists at VIP in our outpatient facilities.

  • Accessing the Vascular System — The procedure initiates with inserting a catheter through a small incision in the groin under local anesthesia.
  • Navigating to the Treatment Site —Real-time imaging like fluoroscopy guides the catheter through blood vessels to the target area.  Catheter position is typically confirmed by injection of contrast dye, which enables the physician to visualize the blood vessels in the area.
  • Delivering the Embolic Agents — Embolic agents are released through the catheter to block blood flow using tiny particles, coils, glues, or other materials.
  • Confirming the Blockage — Additional imaging confirms the effectiveness of blocking the targeted vessels after deploying the embolic material.
  • Concluding the Procedure — After removal of the catheter and closing the incision, the procedure typically lasts 60 minutes or less, depending on the treatment area complexity.

The precision of embolization procedures relies heavily on real-time imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT scans, and fluoroscopy. This live feedback aids specialists in guiding the catheter accurately to the tumor or abnormality, ensuring effective delivery of embolic agents to the target site while minimizing impact on surrounding healthy tissues.

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Benefits of Renal Angiomyolipoma Embolization

Renal Angiomyolipoma Embolization (RAE) is a preferred, minimally invasive treatment for renal angiomyolipomas. It offers very short recovery times and is highly effective in preventing future bleeding from these tumors. Because the technique is targeted to only the vessels feeding the AML tumor, the majority of the remaining normal kidney tissue can often be spared, which leads to better kidney function in the future.  The technique is safe, well-tolerated, and efficient for benign kidney tumors.

  • Reduced Physical Trauma — Renal angiomyolipoma embolization minimizes physical trauma by making only a small incision in the groin area, unlike traditional surgery that requires larger incisions and extensive tissue manipulation.
  • Less Pain and Discomfort — Smaller incisions in the procedure lead to reduced post-procedural pain and discomfort, potentially lowering the need for pain medication during recovery.
  • Preservation of kidney function — By targeting tumors without removing significant portions of the kidney, this procedure helps maintain kidney function, which is crucial for patients with tumors in both kidneys or underlying kidney conditions.
  • Reduced Hospital Stay — The efficiency of the procedure and its minimal impact on the body often result in a shorter hospital stay, enhancing patient comfort and mental well-being while lowering healthcare costs.
  • Prevention of complications — Embolization directly addresses potential life-threatening complications like internal bleeding and kidney failure associated with renal angiomyolipomas. It targets the blood supply to the tumors, reducing the risk of tumor growth and rupture, providing a proactive management approach.

Contact Us

Vascular and Interventional Partners provides minimally invasive treatment options for patients in the Phoenix area with a range of medical concerns, including cancers of the liver. Staffed by a team of highly credentialed, board-certified physicians who specialize in the field, you can be sure that you’re receiving top-quality care in a convenient, comfortable setting. To schedule a consultation or learn more about transarterial chemoembolization, don’t hesitate to contact or call us today at (480) 435-9100.

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