We evaluated the peroperative blood loss in 21 patients who were treated with 29 operative procedures for thoracolumbar spinal renal cell carcinoma metastases. Embolization was undertaken prior to 11 operations. At posterior surgery the average blood loss was one third after embolization compared with when embolization had not been performed. The blood loss was also lower during anterior surgery, although this difference was smaller. We recommend that preoperative embolization should precede surgical treatment of spinal metastases of renal cell carcinoma where it can be anticipated that the operation will extend into the pathological tissue.