The growing specialty of interventional radiology uses image guidance with x-rays (fluoroscopy), ultrasounds and CT scans to see inside the body and make a diagnosis or administer treatment. Interventional radiology offers an alternative to the surgical treatment of many conditions. For most of these procedures, patients require only light sedation and can go home in less than a day.
Common conditions treated:
- Liver cancer
- Bone cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Neuroendocrine tumors
- Portal hypertension
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- Osteoporotic fractures
- Enlarged prostate
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Varicose veins
- Pulmonary embolism
- Post thrombotic syndrome/chronic venous insufficiency
- Peripheral artery disease
- Renal artery stenosis
- Congenital vascular malformation (CVM)
- Arterial venous malformations
- Pulmonary arterial venous malformations (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, HHT)
- Renal angiomyolipoma (tubular sclerosis)
- Shoulder, hip and knee pain
- Back and joint pain
Interventional radiology treatments
Arterial-based therapies: Use patients' own blood vessels to deliver tiny beads soaked in either chemotherapy or loaded with radiation directly into the tumor without causing side effects to the rest of the body
Ablative-based therapies: Use probes which can get hot or cold in a controlled manner to treat tumors through a small puncture in the skin.
- Microwave ablation
- Cryoablation ablation
- Irreversible electroporation (IRE)
Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissue to discover the presence, cause or extent of a disease.
- Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS): A bridge in the liver to help decrease fluid in the abdomen and the risk of bleeding
- Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO): A procedure to block abnormal bleeding blood vessels in the stomach in the setting of cirrhosis
- Portal vein embolization: A procedure to block blood vessels in the liver prior to liver surgery
- Transjugular liver biopsy: A biopsy technique to take samples through a liver vein
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE): Uses patients’ own blood vessels to deliver microscopic particles into the blood supply of fibroids to cause them to shrink
- Pelvic congestion treatments: Minimally invasive delivery of various medical materials to cause a blockage of the veins leading to the pelvis to reduce pain and pelvic pressure
- Fallopian tube recanalization: A procedure that helps to open up a women’s fallopian tube to improve fertility
- Varicoceles: Procedure used to block or divert blood flow away from abnormal venous structures within the scrotum that may be causing pain or discomfort
- Prostate artery embolization: Uses patients’ own blood vessels to deliver microscopic particles into the blood supply of the prostate causing the gland to shrink
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) treatments: The goal of these treatments is to remove or dissolve new or old blood clot that may develop in legs, arms or lungs.
- Acute DVT
- Chronic DVT
- Venous insufficiency
- Pulmonary embolism (PE)
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter: Temporary device used to prevent clots traveling from your legs to your lungs. When filter is no longer needed, prompt removal is recommended regardless of how long they have been inside.
- IVC filter insertion
- IVC filter removal (complex and simple)
Vertebral augmentation: Procedures used to treat painful vertebral compression fractures in the spinal column, which is a common result of osteoporosis.
Provide temporary or prolonged relief from pain or inflammation in the spine or extremities using injections:
- Facet joints
- Sacroiliac joint
Nerve Blocks: Provide temporary or prolonged relief from pain or inflammation often caused by cancer.
- Celiac plexus
- Ganglio of impar
- Angioplasty and stenting: Procedures to open blocked arteries and restore adequate blood flow to legs without the need for open surgery
- Renal hypertension treatments: Procedures used to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow to the kidneys
Other venous treatments: Procedures to block or divert blood flow away from abnormal venous structures that may be causing pain or discomfort.
- Vascular malformations
- Varicose veins
Venous access: Temporary catheter used for delivery of various medications including chemotherapy, antibiotics, transfusions and blood exchanges.
- Chest ports
- Hemodialysis access
- Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC)
- Other venous access (eg. Hickman catheters)
Feeding tubes: Placement of a tube directly into the stomach to deliver nutrition and medications to individuals who cannot eat on their own.
GI/GU access: Placement of a tube directly into various organs in the setting of infection or obstruction.
- Suprapubic catheters
- Nephrostomy tubes
- Biliary tubes
- Cholecystostomy tubes
IR fluid removal: Procedures performed under x-ray or ultrasound to remove fluid from various areas of the body.
- Paracentesis (abdomen)
- Thoracentesis (chest)
- Abscess drains
Palliative care treatments: Catheters can be placed for comfort measures in patients requiring more frequent fluid removal.
- Tunneled abdominal drainage catheter
- Tunneled thoracic drainage catheter
IR diagnostics: Procedures performed under x-ray to diagnose various conditions.
- Lumbar puncture
- Adrenal venous sampling