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Glue Embolization (NBCA)

About Glue Embolization (NBCA)

Glue embolization is a medical process that uses a chemical called n-Butyl cyanoacrylate, which is usually shortened to NBCA, to block problematic arteries. Neurosurgeons of New Jersey frequently uses glue embolization (NBCA) in preparation for other types of brain surgeries, such as removing blood vessel lesions and malformations.

While all surgeries come with some level of risk, glue embolization (NBCA) is considered a low-risk procedure when performed properly.

Goal of Glue Embolization (NBCA)

Glue embolization is most commonly used to block blood flow to a specific area of the brain. The process is performed before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding. For instance, if you need to have a tumor removed, your doctor may use glue embolization (NBCA) to reduce bleeding during the procedure.

Surgeons can also use NBCA to permanently destroy  malformed vessels, which may prevent the development of health problems such as brain bleeding, strokes and aneurysms. Doctors at Neurosurgeons of New Journey, for instance, may use glue embolization to treat vascular or venous malformations that can cause serious health problems.

How Glue Embolization (NBCA) Is Performed

When you receive a glue embolization treatment, your doctor will insert a catheter into an artery of your upper thigh. He or she will then thread the catheter through your artery to reach the brain’s affected area. The threading process is usually simple because doctors get assistance from imaging technology that shows them which directions to take.

Once your doctor reaches the problematic area of your brain, he or she will inject NBCA to block the blood vessel. NBCA is a liquid glue, but it solidifies quickly once it comes into contact with other substances, including blood and vessel walls. Some compare NBCA’s quick solidification to that of Super Glue. Your doctor has received special training to inject the glue at just the right location, though, so it is unlikely that a mistake will occur.

Before inserting NBCA, your doctor may want to use a balloon to temporarily block the flow of blood. This is a safety precaution that helps your doctor determine precisely where to administer the NBCA. Glue embolization, after all, is permanent, so it makes sense to take precautionary steps before administering NBCA.

Glue embolization can cause some pain, so it is performed under anesthesia, so you should not eat or drink anything prior to the procedure. Your doctor will talk to you about using local or general anesthesia. A local anesthesia will numb the site where he or she plans to insert the catheter. General anesthesia results in unconsciousness, so you will not feel any pain during the operation. Several variables can affect whether local or general anesthesia is right for you, so doctors make the decision on a case by case basis after consulting with their patients.

Recovery Timeline for Glue Embolization (NBCA)

After receiving glue embolization (NBCA), you will require an overnight stay in the hospital for observation. You will most likely need to lie flat for at least six hours. Assuming that the procedure was successful, you should expect to spend a total of two days in the hospital. The recovery time allows the incision site to heal while also giving the hospital staff an opportunity to monitor your progress closely.

Once released from the hospital, you may experience some slight pain and occasional bleeding at the insertion site. If the bleeding or pain seems excessive, contact your doctor immediately for advice. You may need to return to the hospital for a follow-up treatment.

Most patients find that they fully recover within a few days or weeks. All patients, however, are different, so you may heal faster or slower than normal. If you do not recover within three weeks, you should contact your doctor.

Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?

Neurosurgeons of New Jersey is proudly recognized as the largest sub-specialized surgical group in the tri-state area. This means your particular surgeon has extensive experience with the specific type of surgery you need. Both our doctors and staff will make sure any and all questions you may have about the surgical process and your journey be answered and explained to you clearly, ensuring you feel comfortable about the procedure.

By combining the latest technology, most experienced surgeons and a patient-focused approach to health care, Neurosurgeons of New Jersey has become one of the top options for patients throughout New Jersey and New York.