Liver chemoembolisation

Liver chemoembolisation

During this procedure, small particles are injected into a tumour to stop the blood flow. This deprives the tumour of oxygen and nutrients and eventually causes cells to die. The embolisation material is saturated with chemotherapy drugs and once the flow has stopped, the tumor is soaked in a very high concentration of drugs for a prolonged period of time. Thus, the tumor cells die very quickly.

Chemoembolization is considered to be a relatively safe and effective method of treating irresectable liver tumors. The overall risk of the procedure is related to your general underlying health. People with jaundice, severe cirrhosis or kidney failure have an increased chance of complications.


Under x-ray guidance a small catheter is inserted into the femoral artery and advanced into the artery supplying the liver. The embolic material is then injected through the catheter into the liver tumor. The procedure usually lasts 2 - 3 hours.

After the procedure:
The majority of patients experience some side effects which may include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or fever. Various drugs can be administered that will control these symptoms and keep you comfortable. The symptoms will stop after 3 - 5 days.

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