Embolization and embolisation

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Embolization and embolisation are spellings of the same word, a word that some find confusing. We will examine the definition of the word embolization or embolisation, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Embolization means to create an embolus, which is a blockage in the blood stream. An embolus may be a fatty deposit, air bubble, blood clot or other item. Embolization, when it occurs naturally, is a serious thing. It may cut the blood supply to a vital organ. However, a doctor may purposely block blood flow through an embolization procedure in order to stop internal bleeding or to starve a cancer tumor or a benign tumor. The word embolization is derived from the Greek word embolos, which means stopper, and the suffix -ation, which is used to make an action noun. Embolization is the American spelling.

Embolisation is the British spelling of the word embolization.


Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said the embolization procedure on the 48-year-old first lady was successful and there were no complications. (The Hanford Sentinel)

After a pluridisciplinary staff, we decided to begin the treatment by LHRH analogs, then she had an embolization of the arteriovenous malformation wich permitted a regression of the lesions on the reevaluation MRI. (The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology)

However, in many cases, fibroids can be treated with less extreme surgery, but also non-surgical interventions such as uterine fibroid embolisation, which is carried out by a radiologist who essentially blocks the blood vessels “feeding” the fibroid. (The Guardian)

A first for the Sunshine Coast, the prostate artery embolisation procedure involves guiding microcatheters through the arteries into the prostate and injecting microscopic particles to block the blood supply to the enlarged prostate gland. (The Sunshine Coast Daily)