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Treatment / Radioembolization / Yttruim-90 Cancer Therapy

Radioembolization (Y90)

Radioembolization is a minimally invasive procedure that combines embolization and radiation therapy to treat inoperable liver cancer and liver metastases. While it is not curative, this treatment can dramatically shrink tumors, improve quality of life and extend survival for people with liver cancer.

Am I a Candidate for Y90?

When you come in for a consultation, your doctor will talk with you about your medical history and perform diagnostic testing, including a blood test and a CT scan.

If you appear to be a candidate your vascular and interventional radiologist will perform a mapping procedure to confirm your eligibility for the yttrium-90 microsphere radioembolization and determine an appropriate radiation dose for your liver.

If your eligibility is confirmed and you decide to have the procedure, you must also have an angiogram 7-10 days before the procedure date.

Reasons you may choose Y90

  • Provide symptom relief
  • Shrink tumors for a liver resection, ablation, or transplant
  • Extend survival
  • Slow progression

What to Expect from the Procedure

An artery is a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Arteries form networks inside the body like highways. An interventional radiologist will use a tiny tube (catheter) to travel the body’s arteries and reach the liver arteries feeding the tumor directly.

After numbing the skin, the doctor will make a small skin incision in the groin. Then, using x-ray guidance, he will navigate the catheter to the liver arteries. After the tube is properly placed, tiny radioactive beads will be deposited into the hepatic artery.


Radioembolization is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and typically lasts 30-90 minutes. After your Y90 procedure you will rest in a recovery area for 2-6 hours before you are sent home. Rarely, a patient may require an overnight stay for observation.

You can expect to return to normal activities after leaving the hospital, however all patients will experience fatigue for 1-4 weeks following the therapeutic injection. Some patients also report fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. If side effects last more than 7-10 days, reach out to your doctor right away.

Due to the radioactive nature of the treatment please take the following precautions for three days after your procedure:

  • Maintain a six-foot distance from other adults if contact will last for more than a few minutes

Take the following precautions for one week after your procedure:

  • Do not use public transportation that will require you to sit next to another person for >2 hours
  • Do not sleep in the same bed as your partner
  • Avoid close contact with pregnant women and children

You will follow up with your doctor after the procedure to monitor the healing process, and they will schedule imaging studies every three months after therapy to track your progress.

Whether or not you are a candidate for radioembolization will depend on your diagnosis and a consultation with your interventional radiologist. If you have been diagnosed with an inoperative liver tumor Y90 may be a treatment option to consider. Call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also read our brochure on Interventional Oncology.

* This information about Radioembolization 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.

Medical Records Release Form

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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