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Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) – Procedures

Patient Guide to Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)

 

What is Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)?

Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) is an innovative medical procedure designed to address chronic knee pain by targeting the genicular arteries responsible for carrying blood to the knee joint.

Through minimally invasive techniques, GAE aims to reduce pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis, providing a potential alternative to more invasive surgical interventions.

 

How Does Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) Work?

GAE is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the use of embolic agents to block or reduce blood flow in the genicular arteries, which supply blood to the knee joint.

By doing so, GAE aims to alleviate chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis or other conditions by interrupting the signals of pain and inflammation.

 

The procedure typically involves the following steps:

Identification of Target Arteries:
Using imaging techniques such as angiography, the interventional radiologist identifies the genicular arteries responsible for supplying blood to the knee joint.

Embolization:
Through a catheter, embolic agents (tiny particles or coils) are introduced into the genicular arteries. These agents block or reduce blood flow, targeting the specific areas causing pain and inflammation.

Post-Procedure Monitoring:
After the embolization, the patient is monitored to ensure the success of the procedure and to manage any potential postoperative discomfort.

 

Who is a Good Candidate for Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)?

GAE is typically considered for individuals experiencing chronic knee pain, particularly those
with osteoarthritis, who may not have found relief through conservative treatments such as physical therapy or medications.

Good candidates for GAE may include:

  • Individuals with chronic knee pain not responding to conservative treatments.
  • Those with contraindications or concerns about surgical interventions.
  • Patients seeking a minimally invasive alternative to knee surgery.
  • Those willing to explore innovative procedures with their healthcare provider.
  • However, the suitability of GAE is determined on a case-by-case basis, and a thorough evaluation by a medical professional is essential.

 

FAQ’s on Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) Treatment

Q. Is GAE a surgical procedure?
A. No, GAE is a minimally invasive procedure performed by interventional radiologists using catheters and imaging guidance.

Q. How long does the GAE procedure take?
A. The procedure typically takes a few hours, including preparation and recovery time.

Q. Is GAE painful?
A. Patients may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but anesthesia is used to minimize pain.

Q. What is the recovery time after GAE?
A. Most patients can resume their normal activities within a few days, but recovery times may vary.

Q. Are there potential risks or complications with GAE?
A. As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks, including infection or allergic reactions. However, complications are rare.

Q. How long does it take to experience pain relief after GAE?
A. Pain relief can vary, but some patients may experience improvement within a few weeks after the procedure.

Q. Is GAE covered by insurance?
A. Coverage may vary, and it’s essential to check with insurance providers regarding specific coverage for GAE.

Q. Can GAE be repeated if needed?
A. In some cases, repeat procedures may be considered if there is a recurrence of symptoms.

Q. Can GAE be combined with other knee treatments?
A. GAE can be combined with other therapies, and its compatibility with other treatments should be discussed with healthcare providers.

Q. Are there age restrictions for GAE?
A. GAE can be considered for individuals of various ages. The decision is based on individual health conditions and the severity of symptoms.

Q. Is GAE suitable for all types of knee pain?
A. GAE is primarily designed for chronic knee pain, especially associated with osteoarthritis. The suitability for other types of knee pain may be determined by a healthcare professional.

Q. Can GAE prevent the need for knee surgery?
A. GAE is considered a less invasive alternative to knee surgery and may be an option for those seeking to avoid more extensive surgical interventions.

Q. What is the success rate of GAE?
A. Success rates may vary, but studies have shown promising results in providing relief for chronic knee pain.

Q. Are there lifestyle changes needed after GAE?
A. While no specific lifestyle changes are mandated, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall well-being.

Q. Is GAE a one-time procedure, or are follow-up sessions required?
A. Follow-up sessions may be necessary, and the need for additional treatments will be assessed based on the individual’s response to GAE.

 

Common Treatment Options of Non-Healing Wounds

Treatment options for non-healing wounds may include:

Topical Wound Care:
Dressings and ointments to create a moist environment conducive to healing.

Debridement:
Removal of dead or infected tissue to promote wound healing.

Compression Therapy:
Applying pressure to improve blood flow and reduce swelling.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:
Breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room to promote wound healing.

Skin Grafts:
Transplanting healthy skin to cover a wound.

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy:
Applying negative pressure to the wound to promote healing.

Biological Dressings:
Using materials derived from human or animal tissues to aid in wound closure.

Antibiotic Therapy:
Prescribed to manage or prevent infections in chronic wounds.

Revascularization Procedures:
Restoring blood flow to promote healing in wounds associated with poor circulation.

Advanced Surgical Interventions:
In cases where less invasive treatments are not effective, surgical options may be considered.

 

Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) offers a promising avenue for individuals suffering from chronic knee pain, particularly in cases related to osteoarthritis.

 

As with any medical procedure, a consultation with our physician is important to determine the most suitable treatment approach based on individual health conditions and symptoms.

 

If you or someone you know is considering GAE, please contact the Vascular Institute of Ohio friendly office staff for an appointment or consultation with one of our physicians to discuss potential benefits, risks, and alternative treatment options.