TACE Procedure: What is it like?

Posted by lindaldotson @lindaldotson, May 13 6:40am

I'm having a TACE Procedure next Wednesday and would appreciate your experience with it. Also – sending profound thanks for this group!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs) Support Group.

I was diagnosed almost 2 years ago with NET primary pancreas that metastasized to liver(over 100) and two bone lesions. I was 49 at the time working as ICU nurse and blamed my exhaustion and weight loss on working during pandemic. My husband begged me to see doc. I had pain to my abdomen during exam and had ultrasound that showed numerous masses. And you all know the rest. Started on Lanreotide once a month and had 4 TACE procedures last year over 8 months. First three I stayed in hospital only one night. Last one two nights due to low sodium. Was tired and relatively pain free in hospital and first few days after. Did not have a bowel movement for many days after each TACE though strangely was never bloated or uncomfortable? Had great results with tumor shrinkage, although my last MRI showed new tumors, so I’m starting PRRT and a clinical trial with immunotherapy Pembro next week. My experience with TACE was very painful. Had a lot of inflammation and did a week of steroids post second TACE with better pain control. Some people sail through them. I wasn’t one of those. I took solace by imagining that the pain was my tumors shrinking, but wow that was rough. Wish someone would have told me that level of pain was possible. I’m glad I did it and am so grateful I have a fabulous group of doctors and care team at UCSF. My pain lasted about a month or more each one. I also lost my appetite and food tasted bizarre. Another side effect was my tongue become very sensitive and red. Any slight spice was painful. I still can’t do spicy or even cold ice cream is irritating. I hope you have minimal pain with good results. It’s all worth it to add more time on the clock as my docs all say! Good luck!😻


Thank you for sharing your experience. It is very helpful. Pray you continue to improve.


I've had 2 of my scheduled 4 TACE treatments and the first one really kicked my butt. I experienced dehydration (so important to drink fluids), nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. These symptoms last for about 5 weeks, which is rare. Oncologist said he gave me too much chemo (they are treating my liver in 1/4's, hence the 4 treatments. The side effects associated with the 2nd shot were better but the fatigue still rules the day. Best of luck – Tom


@lindaldotson, I see you got helpful replies from @hollywood817 and @marni999. There is also this discussion where @Laydeewinx describes in details the TACE procedure with information you just can't get anywhere else but from a fellow patient how has "been there".
– Have you had TACE or SirSpheres radiation treatment? Please share https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/does-anyone-have-experience-with-receiving-tace-or-sirspheres-which-are-2/

How did you appointment go? What do you wish you had know before that you would like to share with others?

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