How long will chemoembolization last?

1 answer | Last updated: Mar 20, 2013
A fellow caregiver asked...

How long will chemoembolization last? When will we need to do that procedure again?


Expert Answers

Senior Editor Melanie Haiken, who is responsible for Caring.com's coverage of cancer, general health, and family finance, discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions.

Chemoembolization is an image-guided minimally invasive procedure in which a liver tumor is treated by injecting a high concentration of chemotherapy directly into the tumor, then cutting off the blood flow to the tumor (embolization). It's typically done in the hospital using either an intravenous sedative or anesthesia. You will be given medications ahead of time to help prevent pain, nausea, and infection.

The  procedure itself usually takes between 90 minutes and two hours, but usually requires a 6-8 hour recovery period, usually including overnight stay in the hospital afterwards. This is because the side effects, known as post-embolization syndrome, can include pain, fever, nausea anad vomiting and your  doctor will want to monitor your condition before sending you home.

During the procedure, the treatment team will take X-rays to make sure the entire tumor has been treated. Most patients are up and about and resuming normal activities within about a week.