Tumour embolization

Chorioangiomas are benign tumours of the placenta that do not pose significant threat to the pregnancy in the vast majority of the cases. However, when they are relatively large (>5cm), they may affect the pregnancy in two ways: they act as bypass channels for blood circulation causing excess workload on the fetal heart leading to heart failure; they act as trap to entrap fetal red blood cells causing fetal anaemia Depending on the type of problem caused by the tumour, we offer two types of therapy: if anaemia is significant, direct fetal blood transfusion; if heart failure is present without severe anaemia, we offer tumour embolization. In tumour embolization, a special glue is injected into the main vessel that ‘feeds’ the tumour thereby occluding the blood supply. This is also done on an outpatient basis using a fine needle. Typically, the procedure takes about half an hour followed by one hour of observation.