Your doctor will meet with you to explain how the procedure works. Your doctor will explain how CHEMOSAT® may help you and will also explain any side effects you might have. This is a great time to ask questions and to talk about any questions or concerns that you have.

Questions to ask your doctor about CHEMOSAT®

In the weeks leading up to your procedure your doctor may request some tests, such as:

  • Scans of your liver and other parts of your body
  • Blood tests

These tests will help your doctor be sure you are healthy enough for the procedure and will help your doctor get ready for your procedure.

The day before your procedure, you will go to the hospital. If you take any medicines, please bring them with you.

You will go to your hospital room and get settled in for the night. Your nurse may give you medicines to help you get ready for the procedure. You will not be able to eat anything the night before your procedure.

On the day of your procedure you will be taken to the procedure room. Your doctor will give you general anaesthesia (medicine to help you fall asleep).

You will not feel anything during the procedure.

When you are asleep, your doctor will place catheters (small plastic tubes) in your legs and in your neck.

One catheter will be used to put two small balloons around your liver to “seal off” the blood in your liver from the rest of your body.

Another catheter will be used to give you medicine during your procedure.

The concept of CHEMOSAT® is to temporarily isolate the liver from the body’s blood circulation and deliver concentrated doses of an anti-cancer drug directly to the liver, “saturating” the entire organ. Blood leaving the liver is directed outside of the body to filters that remove most of the anti-cancer drug before returning it to the body. Because the liver is isolated from the rest of the body, the anti-cancer drug can be given at higher concentration levels than is possible in systemic chemotherapy. By delivering this drug to the entire liver, treatment is administered to potentially both visible tumours and undetected micro tumours.

The balloons around your liver and the catheters in your legs will be removed and you will be moved to a recovery room. Your doctor may leave the catheter in your neck after the procedure in case they need to give you more drugs.

Your doctor will be watching you closely after the procedure. You may feel tired and you may have an upset stomach but this should not last very long.

You will spend some time in the hospital while you recover from the procedure.

Following your procedure you will be monitored very closely by your medical team.

After your procedure, you will have:

  • Blood tests every 2-3 days
  • New drugs if you need them.
  • Scans after 6 weeks to monitor your cancer.

Following your procedure you will be monitored very closely by your medical team.

Some potential risks include:

Less white blood cells in your blood

  • You may get infections easily

Less platelets in your blood

  • You may get bruises easily
  • It may take longer to stop bleeding if you are injured
  • You may get a nose bleed or your gums may bleed
  • If you are a woman, your period may be heavy

Less red cells in your blood

  • You may feel tired
  • You may feel short of breath or dizzy
  • You may feel chest pain
  • You may have pale skin
  • Your hands and feet may feel cold
  • You may not think clearly
  • You may have a headache

Less haemoglobin in your blood

  • You may feel tired or weak

Thinner blood

  • It may take longer to stop bleeding if you are injured

Low calcium in your blood

  • You may feel confusion or you may have memory loss
  • You may feel depressed
  • You may feel tingling or have muscle aches
  • Your heart may beat differently

Poor Liver Function

  • Your skin and eyes may turn yellow
  • You may feel pain in the upper right part of your belly
  • You may feel sick to your stomach and may vomit
  • You may feel confused or sleepy

Your doctor will be watching carefully for these side effects. You will have blood tests every few days to try and find any side-effects early. If you have any of these side effects, your doctor may give you additional drugs to improve your health.

Be sure to call your doctor if you are concerned about any of the side effects. After your procedure, you will be in contact with your doctor and your care team often. Do not be afraid to let your doctor or nurse know if something does not feel right.

In particular, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should contact your care team straight away.

  • fever or chills
  • a sore in your mouth
  • sore throat or cough (even a dry cough)
  • burning feeling when you go to the bathroom
  • redness, swelling, or pain
  • bruises
  • any bleeding in your gums, mouth, or nose
  • Diarrhoea
  • dark or bloody stool
  • Pain in your chest or belly that was not there before.