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Treatment / Gastrointestinal Bleed Embolization

Gastrointestinal Bleed Embolization

Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a symptom of a disorder in your digestive tract. Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) is effective for controlling acute GIB. Some studies have shown that TAE is safer than surgical intervention in the high risk patient population.

Bleeding in the stomach or colon can usually be identified easily, but finding the cause of bleeding that occurs in the small intestine often times requires additional imaging studies to locate.

Causes & Presentation

GI bleeding can result form digestive disorders, including:

  • Abnormalities in blood vessels in the digestive tract
  • Cancerous tumors
  • Colon polyps
  • Diverticulosis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

What are the signs of a GI Bleed?

  • Bright red blood in vomit
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Stool mixed or coated with bright red blood

What to Expect from the Procedure

During the procedure your vascular and interventional radiologist (VIR) will numb the skin then insert a thin plastic tube into a blood vessel of the upper thigh or arm. Using moving x-rays, the physician will guide the tube through the blood vessels to the area of concern. The IR will attempt to stop the bleeding blood vessel by injecting special materials through the tiny tube. The blood vessel can be blocked temporarily with a slurry called gelfoam or permanently with small plastic particles, fine metal coils, special plugs or medical grade glue.

Risks of Having an Embolization for GI Bleed

  • Damage to the blood vessel
  • Bruising or bleeding at the puncture site
  • Damage to nearby organs or tissues (if material used to block the blood vessel impacts these areas)
  • Damage to the kidneys or allergic reaction from the contrast dye
  • Infection

* This information about Gastrointestinal Bleed Embolization was reviewed by Dr. Jason R. Bauer. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below.

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We are announcing that Interventional and Vascular Consultants will be closing as of March 10, 2023.

We would like to thank you for the trust you have given us over the years, participating in your healthcare needs has been a privilege.

To assist in a smooth transition to a new provider, you may access your records from your MyHealth account or request a copy of medical records by clicking the link below and completing the Release of Information form.

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Please know that we have greatly valued our relationship with you and wish you the best.


Jason Bauer, MD RVT
Michael Pfister, MD RVT

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