What to Know About Melania’s Embolization
(PEOPLE) First Lady Melania Trump is recovering at the hospital after undergoing a “successful” embolization procedure for a benign kidney condition.
Embolization is used to treat tumors or growths that occur “spontaneously,” Dr. Jeffrey Berns, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, tells PEOPLE.
“It is used for cancer, but there can be benign tumors of the kidney,” Dr. Berns says.
The embolization procedure forces the blood vessels to clot, and stops blood flow to a tumor or growth. The procedure is non-surgical, and instead uses a catheter that is inserted in the femoral artery and threaded up to the kidney.
“The catheter goes [in] until the area that needs to be embolized is isolated, then materials can be injected to cause the blood vessels to clot,” Dr. Berns explains.
The growth will eventually die out with the lack of blood flow.
“If it’s a single isolated lesion … then this is likely to be definitive treatment,” he says. “If this is something that can repeatedly occur over time, then it would need some surveillance.”
A week in the hospital for Trump may not be out of the ordinary if a significant area of the kidney needed treatment. Read the full story at PEOPLE.