Interventional radiology is used to diagnose or treat certain conditions. It can also be used to prevent you from needing surgery. Specialized doctors, nurses, and X-ray technicians provide care and treatment in a “mini operating room” environment. X-rays and ultrasound guide interventional radiologists during your procedure. Some procedures require sedation (sleep medication given through the vein), or a local anesthetic (numbing medication) in your skin. Most procedures require a nick in the skin the size of a pencil tip; some require stitches.
Nurses are on hand to give you the personal care you need and to provide information for you and your family before and after any procedure. The interventional radiologist will work closely with you, your personal doctor, and any specialists on your team. They will also coordinate your care to improve your health or help you maintain regular daily activities during your illness.
Metro Health’s Interventional Radiology services include:
- Angiograms – the study of blood vessels
- Artery stent placement – placing a small wire mesh in a narrowed blood vessel to improve blood flow to an extremity
- Uterine artery embolization – an alternative to hysterectomy surgery, this procedure treats excessive bleeding and pain due to uterine fibroids (non-cancerous growths). Small particles are injected into blood vessels that stop the blood supply to the fibroids causing them to shrink and shrivel up
- Feeding tube placement – this procedure is for patients who are not able to eat normally. A tube is placed into the stomach through the abdomen. Special nutrition is given through this tube
- Central line catheter placement – a small, soft catheter is placed in a vein for infusing medications or for blood draws. Some specialized catheters are placed under the skin with the tip of the catheter just above the level of the heart. Some of these specialized catheters are used for dialysis and connected to a special machine to filter the blood because the kidneys are not functioning.
- Drain tube placement – Some drains are placed into the kidneys because they are blocked and cannot drain properly into the bladder. Other drains may be placed into the gall bladder or bile duct because of a blockage due to gallstones or a tumor. At times, a gallstone can be pushed through with the use of the drain placement and unblock the bile duct. This can prevent the patient from having to go to surgery.
- Vertebroplasty – this procedure is done by injecting a cement type substance into the back area where there is a fracture in the vertebrae. This often occurs in people with brittle bones and bone loss from osteoporosis. The cement keeps the vertebrae from collapsing, giving it support and giving the patient pain relief and quality of life.