About catheter tube

One of the most distinctive treatments offered by Okuno Clinic is the Transcatheter Arterial Micro- Embolization (TAME). This method involves inserting an extremely thin tube, known as a catheter, into the blood vessels, approaching the affected area and dispelling problem blood vessels.

Just like when receiving an intravenous drip, a short tube is inserted into the vein, and medication is administered. The catheter is essentially an extension of this short tube. It is inserted into the blood vessels from the wrist or the groin area and navigated to the targeted treatment area.

The catheter is only 0.6mm in diameter and is very flexible (you can see and touch when you visit our clinic), allowing for safe and effective treatment. Once the catheter reaches the affected area where you are experiencing pain, problem blood vessels become visible, and medication is then injected to eliminate them.

About Medication

The medication used in TAME procedure is called Imipenem-Cilastatin, and it has been approved as an antibiotic for over 20 years.

You might wonder why we use an antibiotic to treat blood vessels when the purpose of the treatment is to reduce blood vessels. In fact, Imipenem-Cilastatin is known for being very insoluble. Due to its low solubility, when mixed with a small amount of liquid, it does not dissolve but forms small particles.

When these particles are injected using a catheter, they become lodged in the small blood vessels. In other words, when this medication is administered in areas with numerous problematic blood vessels, it results in reduced blood flow, causing damage to the problem blood vessels.

But what about its effects on normal blood vessels? Does it also cause damage to them, such as necrosis or injury? The conclusion is that there is absolutely no need to worry.

To date, over 5,000 patients have undergone transcatheter arterial micro-embolization with Imipenem-Cilastatin particles, and not a single case of necrosis or injury has occurred.

Why is that?

Problem blood vessels that develop due to diseases have relatively little 'vascular experience,' and their ability to respond to problems is limited. On the other hand, normal blood vessels have been present since birth and have a mechanism to restore blood flow even if it becomes slightly obstructed (reperfusion).

Therefore, while normal blood vessels can reopen and maintain blood flow, problem (abnormal) blood vessels can be effectively damaged by this medication.
Imipenem-Cilastatin is an extremely safe and highly effective medication.

About procedure

The treatment itself typically takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.
**Please note that the duration may be slightly longer depending on the symptoms and location of treatment.

After the treatment, we recommend resting at our clinic for approximately 1 hour, and you can return home on the same day.