radioembolization Y90 treatment endovascular clinic

Radioembolization with the isotope yttrium Y90 is a minimally invasive procedure used in the treatment of liver cancer or in the treatment of cancers that have started in other parts of the body and have formed metastases in the liver. The method is relatively new, very efficient treatment that targets the tumor cells directly in the liver, without affecting the body’s healthy cells.  Visiting a endovascular clinic Fort Collins has will help you to understand the procedure and it’s benefits.

What Is the Y90 Radioembolization Procedure


The Y90 in the name refers to yttrium90, a radioactive isotope. The procedure involves the insertion of the isotope into tiny particles, usually pieces of resin or glass that are then delivered directly to the tumors through thin catheters. When introduced into the blood vessels that provide the tumor with blood, the particles block the blood flow and they also release a high amount of targeted radiation to destroy the tumor, while sparing healthy tissue cells.

When Is Y90 Radioembolization Procedure Used

The method is most commonly used for the treatment of inoperable tumors. It usually does not provide a complete cure for the cancer, but it can slow down the progression of the cancer, it can prolong the patient’s life by months or even years and it significantly improves that patient’s life quality.

How to Prepare for the Intervention

Y90 radioembolization is performed by interventional radiologists in hospitals. Before the procedure is performed, the patients usually undergo medical investigations and testing, such as blood tests to determine whether kidney function and blood clotting are suitable for performing the intervention. An angiogram is usually also needed – the intervention is performed about 10 days before the embolization and it serves the purpose of getting an image of how the tumor is supplied with blood.

The patients will also receive detailed instructions about what they are allowed to eat and drink during the period right before the procedure as well as about the medication that must or must not be taken – aspirin, blood thinners and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, usually need to be stopped before the intervention.

How Is the Y90 Radioembolization Procedure Performed

The procedure is usually performed in an operating room or in an interventional radiology suite. It starts with the visualization of the upper abdomen to determine where the arteries run, then the blood vessels into which the beads will be injected are closed with very thin, very short coils of wire to prevent the material from reaching into other organs through the blood flow. The main part of the treatment consists of the introduction of the radioactive beads, then the catheter through which the material was administered is removed.

The procedure is usually performed under moderate intravenous sedation, without using a breathing tube, though some people might need general anesthesia. The body area where the catheter is introduced is also numbed with a suitable local anesthetic. The process usually takes about an hour, after which the patient is allowed to leave the hospital, but in some cases, the specialist might decide that the patient needs further monitoring for about another day.