Endovascular embolization


Endovascular embolization is a procedure to treat abnormal blood vessels in the brain and other parts of the body. It is an alternative to open surgery.

This procedure cuts off the blood supply to a certain part of the body.

Alternative Names

Treatment - endovascular embolism; Coil embolization; Cerebral aneurysm - endovascular; Coiling - endovascular; Saccular aneurysm - endovascular; Berry aneurysm - endovascular repair; Fusiform aneurysm repair - endovascular; Aneurysm repair - endovascular


You may have general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free) and a breathing tube. Or, you may be given medicine to relax you, but you will not be asleep.

A small surgical cut will be made in the groin area. The doctor will use a needle to create a hole in the femoral artery, a large blood vessel.

This procedure can take several hours.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

The procedure is most often used to treat aneurysms in the brain. It can also be used for other medical conditions when open surgery might be risky. The goal of the treatment is to prevent bleeding in the problem area and to reduce the risk that the blood vessel will break open (rupture).

Not all aneurysms need to be treated right away. Those that are very small (less than 3 mm) are less likely to break open.

Your doctor will help you decide whether it is safer to have surgery to block off the aneurysm before it can rupture.

This procedure may be used to treat:


Risks from the procedure may include:

Before the Procedure

This procedure is often done on an emergency basis. If it is not an emergency:

After the Procedure

If there was no bleeding before the procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days.

If bleeding occurred, your hospital stay will be longer.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How fast you recover depends on your overall health, the severity of your medical condition, and other factors.

In most cases, endovascular embolization is a successful procedure with good outcomes.

The outlook also depends on any brain damage that occurred from bleeding before, during, or after the surgery.


Brinjikji W, Lanzino G, Cloft HJ, Rabinstein A, Kallmes DF. Endovascular treatment of very small (3 mm or smaller) intracranial aneurysms: report of a consecutive series and a meta-analysis. Stroke. 2010;41:116-121. PMID: 19926837 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19926837.

Mack W, Dusick JR, Martin N, Gonzalez N. Principles of endovascular therapy. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 47.

Meyers PM, Schumacher HC, Higashida RT, Barnwell SL, Craeger MA, Gupta R, et al. American Heart Association Indications for the performance of intracranial endovascular neurointerventional procedures: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, Interdisciplinary Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Interdisciplinary Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Circulation. 2009;119:2235-2249. PMID: 19349327 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19349327.