Interventional Radiology Procedures
Interventional radiologists perform many procedures, including:
- Angiography - An X-ray of the arteries and veins to detect blockage or narrowing of the vessels. In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat the blockages, such as those occurring in the arteries in the legs or kidneys, by inserting a small spring called a stent to inflate and open the vessel. This procedure is called a balloon angioplasty.
- Angioplasty - The use of a small balloon on the tip of a catheter inserted into a blood vessel to open up a blocked area inside the vessel.
- Blood clot filters - A small filter is inserted into a blood clot to catch and break up blood clots.
- Cancer treatment - Administering cancer medications directly to the tumor site.
- Catheter insertions - A catheter is inserted into large veins to give chemotherapy drugs, nutritional support and hemodialysis. A catheter also may be inserted before a bone marrow transplant.
- Embolization - Giving a substance through a catheter into a blood vessel to stop excessive bleeding.
- Foreign body extraction - The use of a catheter placed in a blood vessel to retrieve a foreign body in the vessel. Sometimes foreign bodies in the soft tissue may be able to be removed through a small cut using ultrasound guidance.
- Gastrostomy tubes - A gastrostomy or feeding tube is inserted into the stomach if the patient is unable to eat food by mouth.
- Inferior vena cava filters - A small filter is inserted into a blood clot to catch and break up blood clots.
- Injection of clot-lysing agents - Clot-lysing agents, such as tissue plasminogen activator, are injected into the body to dissolve blood clots.
- Intravascular ultrasound - The use of ultrasound inside a blood vessel to better see the inside of the vessel and find problems.
- Laser therapy - Outside and inside lasers are used in interventional radiology. Outside lasers are used to destroy skin lesions, which can cause recurrent infection, pain and bleeding.
- Needle biopsy - A small needle is inserted into an abnormal area in almost any part of the body, guided by imaging techniques, to get a tissue sample. This type of biopsy can provide a diagnosis without surgical intervention. An example of this procedure is called a needle breast biopsy.
- Radiofrequency ablation - A small instrument used to destroy tumors with heat. Also called electrosurgery, this procedure is performed using image guidance for precision and is effective for destroying a variety of tumors. This is often used to treat painful bone tumors called osteoid osteomas.
- Sclerotherapy - A treatment where small needles are used to directly place one of a variety of medicines directly into malformed blood vessels or lymphatic malformations. The purpose is to cause inflammation and scarring in order to reduce or remove the blood vessel or lesion involved.
- Stent placement - A tiny, expandable coil, called a stent, is placed inside a blood vessel at the site of a blockage. The stent is expanded to open up the blockage.
Learn more about our Quality Reports for Interventional Radiology volumes.