Chemoembolization is a treatment to help control cancer in the liver. After performing an angiogram to locate the hepatic artery, a dose of chemotherapy is mixed with sponge particles and is injected directly in to the blood vessels that feed the tumor in the liver. The chemotherapy kills the tumor cells and the sponge particles cut off the tumor's blood supply and make the tumor shrink.
Although the procedure is not a cure for liver cancer, studies have shown that 70 percent or more of patients experience improvement and, depending on the type of cancer, may live longer. Chemoembolization also may relieve pain and other symptoms, make patients more comfortable and improve the quality of their lives. Another advantage is that the procedure may be repeated multiple times.
To find out if you may be a candidate for this procedure, call your Medical Oncologist or contact the Lowell General Cancer Center for more information.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Before Your Procedure
Your referring doctor's office will schedule your appointment with us and provide you with all information related to preparation and expectations for your specific condition and procedure.
You will need to arrange for a family member or friend to take you home after your procedure. Please note that you will not be allowed to drive yourself or to take a bus. You must have someone escort you by car or taxi.
When You Arrive For Your Procedure
Please wear comfortable clothes and leave all valuables at home. When you come to the main hospital you may go directly to the Surgical Day Care Unit on the basement level of the Dahod Building. This is where you will check in and prepare for your procedure. They will take you to the Interventional Radiology suite. If your procedure is a day procedure, not requiring an overnight stay, you will be brought back to this area when your procedure is complete. Your companion is encouraged to accompany you to check-in and may wait in the waiting area during your procedure.
After Your Procedure
Your recovery will depend on the type of procedure you have. Your doctor will be able to tell you what to expect after the procedure for your path to recovery. If your procedure does not require an overnight stay, you will likely return to the Surgical Day Care Unit. If you will be admitted to a patient care unit, your belongings will be transferred to your room for you and your companion will be notified.