Interventional radiology (IR) is a medical specialty which provides minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. Using state of the art equipment, imaged-guided medicines or stents are introduced precisely to the diseased area, saving the rest of the body of potential side effects.
Our experienced team of SSM Health Interventional Radiologists are board-certified physicians with advanced training in delivering minimally invasive therapies. Guided by imaging tools such as fluoroscopy, computed tomography, and ultrasound, serious medical conditions such as vascular malformations, blood clots, and certain cancers can be treated non-surgically by our specialists with less risk, pain, and a faster recovery time.
Benefits of Minimally-Invasive Procedures
Minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures reduce the risk of infection and other complications. Other benefits include:
- Shorter recovery time
- Higher levels of safety and efficiency
- Less painful than open surgery
- Small incision that usually requires no stitches and causes less scarring
- Outpatient procedure
Interventional Radiology Procedures
The types of conditions that can be treated with interventional radiology procedures continues to grow. IR treatment is typically one in a range of options, so it’s important for you to speak with your SSM Health provider about the best option for you.
IR can be used to perform biopsies and to inject chemotherapy drugs or radiotherapy precisely into the tumor, thus avoiding side effects to the rest of the body and surrounding areas. Other procedures include:
- Cryoablation is a treatment to kill cancer cells with extreme cold. Cryoablation may be used to treat cancer when surgery isn't an option. Cryoablation is sometimes used as a primary treatment for cancer of the kidney, liver, lung and prostate. Cryoablation is also used to relieve the pain of many different types of cancer that spread to the bone (bone metastasis) or other organs.
- Yttrium-90 (Y-90) Treatment: Interventional radiologists use yttrium-90 (Y-90) , a radioactive medical device made up of extremely small resin beads. They inject these beads into the main artery that supplies liver tumors. The blood flow delivers the beads to the small blood vessels where they lodge and deliver radioactivity directly to the tumor. This treatment delivers the radiation to the tumor without affecting the nearby healthy liver tissue.
Heart and Vascular
Interventional radiologists use a variety of techniques to repair aneurysms, open blocked arteries and veins, and plug arteries to stop bleeding.
In an angioplasty procedure, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed. When necessary, a small wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open.
Men’s Health: Prostate Enlargement
For prostate enlargement: Prostate embolization to reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Women’s Health: Uterine Fibroids
Uterine artery embolization is a procedure to treat fibroids without surgery. Using catheters similar to those used to image heart vessels, small particles are injected into the arteries feeding the fibroids. The blood supply of the fibroids is then cut off, causing the fibroids to shrink.
Trauma, Fractures and Bleeding
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures, which are fractures involving the vertebral bodies that make up the spinal column. In vertebroplasty, physicians use image guidance to inject a cement mixture into the fractured bone through a hollow needle. In kyphohplasty, a balloon is first inserted into the fractured bone through the hollow needle to create a cavity or space. The cement is injected into the cavity once the balloon is removed.
For injury after an accident, specialists can place metallic coils to intentionally shut down a bleeding artery. In addition, interventional radiologists can perform embolization to treat internal bleeding from splenic, hepatic or pelvic trauma.
The techniques offered by our SSM Health Interventional Radiologists allow us to provide personalized, targeted care for our patients. Find a physician near you today to learn about the options we could provide for you.