Interventional Radiology uses X-ray and other imaging techniques to guide narrow tubes (catheters) and other small instruments through blood vessels and other pathways in the body to the site of a problem. This allows our specialized physicians to study and treat a variety of medical disorders without surgery.
Procedures performed by our interventional radiologists are generally less costly and less invasive than traditional surgery. In addition, many of these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, eliminating or reducing hospital stays.
Some of the most frequent procedures include:
Arteriography (X-Ray study of blood vessels
In this outpatient procedure, a small catheter is placed into a blood vessel, typically at the top of your leg, and then a special contrast agent (dye) is injected that allows an Interventional Radiologist to visualize arteries or veins on the X-ray. This allows diagnosis of certain vascular disorders such as stenosis (narrowing of blood vessel) and blockage of blood vessels. If needed, ballooning of the blood vessel (angioplasty) and/or stent placement (to assist in keeping the vessel open) can be done at this time.
In this outpatient procedure, bone cement is injected through a needle into a fractured vertebra (spine bone), stabilizing the fracture and thereby reducing the back pain associated with this fracture. The vertebral fracture may be a result of osteoporosis, trauma, or metastasis of cancer. This procedure is not for back pain related to spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal).
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE - chronic pelvic pain in women)
In this outpatient procedure, tiny particles of plastic are injected through a catheter into the uterine artery, which is accessed by the artery at the top of the leg, to block blood flow to uterine fibroid(s). Fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the uterus which may cause heavy or prolonged menstrual periods and pain. By blocking the blood flow to the fibroid(s), the fibroids shrink alleviating the symptoms associated with them.
Long-term Venous Access Catheters/PICC line insertion
In this outpatient procedure, a small plastic catheter is inserted into a vein either in the arm, chest, or neck. This type of catheter is often used for people who require long-term antibiotics, chemotherapy, intravenous nutrition or hemodialysis. Some of these catheters may be tunneled underneath the skin allowing the catheter to stay in place for months.
New interventional radiology procedures deliver cancer-fighting therapy directly to the site of the tumor:
RF Ablation of Liver Tumors
In this outpatient procedure, a Cat Scan is done of the liver to identify suspicious lesions. Interventional radiologists can then target the lesion with a probe and send electronic pulses to kill tumor cells.
Chemoembolism for Liver Cancer
In this outpatient procedure, a small catheter is inserted into an artery at the top of the leg and threaded into the veins/arteries feeding the tumor in the liver. Chemotherapy medications are infused through the catheter to directly target and kill cancer cells.