Trans arterial radioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist (IR) to treat the liver. The procedure is performed under aseptic conditions in the angiography suite. During the procedure, local anaesthesia (pain killer) is injected into the skin at the access site to prevent discomfort. An injection of a mild sedative can also be given to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. Using image guidance, an IR uses a catheter (fine plastic tube) to enter the blood vessel inside the liver which specifically supplies the tumour and delivers a combination of radiotherapy agent and a blood vessel blocking agent (embolic) to treat liver cancer. Tiny glass or resin beads loaded with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumour. This blocks the supply of blood to the cancer cells and delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumour while sparing normal tissue. It can help extend the lives of patients with inoperable tumour and improve their quality of life. This procedure can also be performed with an alternative radio-active isotope (Iodine 131) mixed with an oily contrast (lipiodol).
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