Interventional Radiology

About Interventional Radiology (IR)

Improving patient care without traditional surgery or using a knife (scalpel). IR is becoming the most exciting specialty in medicine today. Cancer, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and other men’s and women’s health conditions are just a few conditions that IR’s can treat.

Treating a disease at its source by using medical imaging and through a tiny hole, the size of a tip of a pen made in the vessel wall, makes IR procedures less invasive, less painful, and with less recovery time.

Patients will have a decreased amount of complications compared to traditional open surgery. Most IR procedures are done through access into a blood vessel. The blood vessels in the body are like a tree with its branches, all are inter-connected. It starts with a big vessel from the heart called the Aorta (like the trunk of a tree), and it branches out to the entire body giving blood to different organs and muscles such as the liver, kidney, intestines, prostate, uterus, joints, muscles of the arms, legs, and more.

As an example, doctors can access the femoral artery in the groin or the radial artery in the wrist to access any part of the body, since they are all connected. Medical imaging, such as an ultrasound or x-ray, can help act as a guide through the arteries show how to get to different organs or parts of the body to deliver treatment.

An Interventional Radiologist who specializes in radiology (medical imaging) can intervene by performing surgery or offering treatment through blood vessels to different organs and limbs. This process allows for access to the problem without traditional surgery where a patient goes in under the knife. In addition, IR procedures are minimally invasive with less pain and require light to moderate sedation through an IV line instead of the traditional use of general anesthesia, which requires tubes down the patient’s throat to perform open surgery.

Most IR procedures are done through blood vessels such as when a vessel that is closed is opened, closing a vessel to a benign tumor, or by delivering medications directly to a malignant tumor.

Examples of IR procedures:

  1. 1. Opening a blocked artery: Peripheral artery disease (PAD), A blocked blood vessel in the leg can be opened using interventional techniques by accessing the blood vessel through a tiny pen tip sized incision. The surgeon will then open the artery with a balloon or stent without the traditional open surgery or bypass, which carries higher risk, more blood loss, and longer recovery time.
  2. Blocking the Artery:
  3. A benign tumor: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or Uterine Fibroid canbe shrunk and treated by blocking the blood supply to the prostate or uterus leading to starvation of the tumor and shrinking, alleviating the symptoms of BPH and Fibroids without the traditional removal methods of open surgery.
  4. Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are enlarged vessels in the rectum that can be blocked by access from the femoral artery. This leads to a reduction in size and symptoms without the traditional messy, bloody, and painful surgery.
  5. Arthritis of the knee: Osteoarthritis of the knee joint occurs when there is wear and tear of the joints, leading to inflammation and pain. The inflammatory cells that are responsible for the inflation travel through the blood vessels to the joint, which then can further damage the joint and cause pain. By blocking these blood vessels, the inflammatory cells are prevented from reaching the joint and alleviate the inflammation, pain, and destruction of the joint.
  6. Delivering treatment through Arteries: Cancer of the liver or other cancers that spread to the liver, such as colon cancer, can be treated by delivering chemotherapy or radiation beads directly to the liver. The tumor can be targeted specifically by supplying an artery to kill the tumor without touching the liver and avoiding the usual side effects of traditional chemotherapy.

We offer an alternative to traditional surgeries which can have long recovery timesand higher rates of complications for many common conditions such as arthritis of the knee, BPH, and hemorrhoids. We bring awareness to both patients and primary care physicians about PAD and alternative minimally invasive treatment options.


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