Interventional Services Procedures
Our interventional radiologists use image guidance to perform a list of non-surgical treatments for patients. From uterine fibroid embolization and deep vein thrombosis all the way to the most innovative cancer treatments, our specialized radiologists are highly skilled and committed to providing top-level patient care.
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Interventional radiologists are vascular experts who offer minimally invasive treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm is a weak area in the aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. As blood flows through the aorta, the weak area bulges like a balloon and can burst if the balloon gets too big.
As vascular experts, interventional radiologists treat atherosclerosis, “hardening of the arteries,” throughout the body. In some patients, atherosclerosis, specifically in the carotid artery in the neck, can lead to ischemic stroke. In addition to diagnosing and treating those at risk for stroke, interventional radiologists use their expertise in imaging, angioplasty and stenting to treat those having an acute stroke.
Compression Fractures Compression fractures occur in the spine when bones and vertebrae become soft and weak. Quite often the cause is osteoporosis which is marked by weakened and brittle bones and typically results in height loss and spine curvature. This kind of stress on the bones can cause painful compression fractures and further collapse of […]
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the body’s major deep veins (typically in the legs or pelvis), leading to blockage of blood flow. The result is significant discomfort and risk of serious health complications, like pulmonary embolism […]
People with certain diseases or medical conditions sometimes require that tubes be placed into the body so that they can receive medications or nutrients directly into the blood stream or gastrointestinal system, or so blood can be drawn. Once, surgery was required to insert these tubes, but today these procedures can be done without surgery by an interventional radiologist.
Patients with chronic renal failure need regular Hemodialysis that performs the kidney’s job of ridding the body of toxic waste products, and to maintain fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance. One of the greatest challenges facing patients and their doctors is keeping the vascular access graft open for dialysis. Most patients with chronic renal failure receive dialysis using synthetic bridge grafts made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). These tend to clot or malfunction, decreasing reliable access for life-sustaining dialysis and causing considerable morbidity, discomfort and inconvenience for dialysis patients.
Patients may be diagnosed with an abnormal soft tissue mass or fluid collection that needs sampling for evaluation. An image-guided biopsy is a small sample of tissue or fluid taken from your body that can be studied in a lab to help establish the diagnosis. Image-guided biopsy lets your doctor take a sample of tissue or fluid without using surgery.
IVC Filters (Inferior Vena Cava) are used to function like a catcher’s mitt to capture blood clots, but allow normal blood to pass through and avoid pulmonary embolism. If a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or pulmonary embolism is diagnosed in a patient who cannot be anticoagulated; bleeds while anticoagulated; develops pulmonary embolism or clot progression while anticoagulated; has extremely high risk for pulmonary embolism or cannot sustain any more pulmonary embolus; then an IVC filter may be life saving.
Kyphoplasty Osteoporosis and other risk factors can lead to spinal fractures. If left untreated, it can lead to a hunched back, also called Kyphosis. Kyphosis can limit your ability to perform simple activities. The good news is, you don’t have to endure back pain—or the consequences of a spinal fracture. When caught early, spinal fractures […]
Liver Cancer Surgery is often not an option for liver cancer, and chemotherapy can sometimes be ineffective. Minimally invasive interventional oncology treatments are a viable option for many cases of liver cancer, as well as kidney and lung cancer. These treatments can preserve the affected organ by delivering targeted treatments that can attack the cancer […]
Nephrostomy is a procedure that creates an artificial passage (opening) in the kidney to allow urinary drainage. Once the passage is created a catheter, a small flexible, rubber tube, will be put in place for the drainage and a drainage bag connected to the catheter for collection. This can be a temporary or permanent solution depending on the situation.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Pelvic congestion syndrome, or PCS, results from pelvic venous insufficiency (PVI), where the pelvic veins become enlarged (similar to varicose veins that are common in the lower legs). With PVI, pelvic varicose veins bulge and stretch, causing chronic pelvic pain and a sensation of heaviness in the lower pelvis. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome […]
Peripheral Artery Disease Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the legs become narrowed or clogged due to the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque. The disease limits blood flow to the tissues of the legs, which can cause pain with exertion. Also referred to as Peripheral Vascular […]
Thoracentesis is a procedure that removes fluid from the space between your lungs and chest wall. Fluid may have built up in this area because of infection, inflammation, heart failure, or cancer.
Paracentesis is a procedure that removes fluid from your abdomen. The fluid buildup causes your abdomen to swell. Fluid may have built up in this area because of infection, inflammation, injury, or conditions like cirrhosis and cancer.
A PleurX Catheter (Peritoneal Catheter System) is a home management system that allows patients to drain fluid accumulation, from the chest (pleural fluid) or abdominal cavity (ascites). Pleural fluid is fluid “on the lungs” or build-up of fluid in the chest. This fluid can compress the lungs and make breathing difficult. Ascites is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity as a result of an imbalance of the plasma flow in the blood and lymphatic vessels. PleurX is used to enable patients to eliminate repeated hospital visits to drain, either pleural fluid or ascites, which may be due to cancer or other disease, including end stage liver disease. The fluid accumulation can cause a great amount of pain, so this system improves the quality of life for the patient.
Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is the blockage of one or more arteries in the lungs, ultimately eliminating the oxygen supply causing heart failure. This can take place when a blood clot from another area of the body, most often from the legs, breaks free, enters the blood stream and gets trapped in the lung’s arteries.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive treatment option, which implements localized treatment to kill tumor cells with heat while preserving the healthy surrounding tissue. Interventional radiologist use image guidance, which enables them to perform radiofrequency ablation directly into the cancerous tumor. Due to the localized nature of this treatment, RFA does not have any systemic side effects. Radiofrequency ablation can be performed without affecting the patient’s overall health and most patients can resume normal daily activity within a few days.
Radiofrequency Ablation is a nonsurgical option, which offers a localized treatment that destroys the tumor cells with heat, while preserving the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. Radiofrequency ablation of osteoid osteomas has given patients another option that is much less invasive with vastly shorter recovery periods or the other option which is long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents.
Renovascular Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common disease that is often associated with atherosclerosis, hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
Traditional therapy for a sacral insufficiency fracture involves rest, pain medication and either crutches or a walker to help with walking. This treatment option normally takes about six months to a year to heal, but many fractures do not respond to this treatment option. If choosing this option, water exercise may be beneficial, as well as, support given by a corset.
One treatment option with much faster means of returning to normal activity is called a Sacroplasty. This is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an Interventional Radiologist. This procedure will take approximately an hour and is performed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure under a local or general anesthesia.
There are several types of spinal injections, often referred to as nerve blocks or blocks. They may be used for both pain relief and diagnostic purposes. Spinal injections are usually performed using a live x-ray (fluoroscopy) for guidance. Common spinal injections include: Epidural Steroid Injection, Facet Injection, Selective Nerve Root Block, Sacroiliac Joint Block, Celiac Plexus Block and Intercostal Nerve Block.
Coablation using the Spinewand targets the lesion, or tumor, directly to eliminate it from the vertebra. The Spinewand creates a very low temperature (40-70 degrees C) plasma field to vaporize the tumor, creating a cavity within the vertebral body. The energy from the plasma breaks molecular bonds of the tissue causing molecular dissociation. The result is tissue removal with minimal collateral tissue damage. This is a very precise tool that only creates a 2-3mm cavity surrounding the wand tip.
The Spinewand procedure is performed with either vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. Once the cavity has been created, the interventional radiologist fills in the cavity with bone cement to stabilize the vertebra. This creates an internal cast for previously unstable vertebra.
Transarterial Chemoembolization is a minimally invasive technique used to treat cancers in the liver. Since tumors are supplied only by the arteries, and the rest of the normal liver receives most of its blood from the portal vein, selectively blocking the blood flow to the tumor can shrink the tumor, while allowing the liver tissue to survive. This technique delivers a high concentration of chemotherapy directly into the tumor, while depriving the tumor of its blood supply. TACE may be used in conjunction with other traditional therapies or alone, for patients who cannot go under resection or are waiting for a transplant. Chemoembolization is a palliative treatment to slow the growth of the tumor, however not a cure. Medical trials also show promising results with some metastatic tumors.
Uterine Fibroids Uterine Fibroids are the most common form of noncancerous uterine tumors, affecting 25 – 40% of American women. While not life-threatening, fibroids can cause significant discomfort and heavy menstrual bleeding. Fortunately, hysterectomy is no longer the only option. Upstate Carolina Radiology’s interventional radiologists can perform a minimally invasive procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization […]
A Varicocele is a varicose vein of the testicle and scrotum that may cause pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage) or fertility problems. Veins contain one-way valves that work to allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood pools and enlarges the veins around the testicle in the scrotum to cause a varicocele.
Varicoceles A varicocele is a cluster of enlarged veins in the scrotum that causes blood to accumulate and increased pressure in the veins. Varicoceles are treated with embolization, during which abnormal veins are permanently closed, redirecting blood through normal venous channels. Treatment Varicocele Embolization Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to shut off […]
Venous insufficiency is a very common condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart, with pooling of blood in the veins. Normally, one-way valves in the veins keep blood flowing toward the heart, against the force of gravity. When the valves become weak and don’t close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux. Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness, become elongated, rope-like, bulged, and thickened. These enlarged, swollen vessels are known as varicose veins and are a direct result of increased pressure from reflux. A common cause of varicose veins in the legs is reflux in a thigh vein called the great saphenous, which leads to pooling in the visible varicose vein below.
Vertebroplasty Vertebroplasty is a pain treatment for vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy. Vertebroplasty, a nonsurgical treatment performed by interventional radiologists using imaging guidance, stabilizes the collapsed vertebra with the injection of medical-grade bone cement into the spine. This reduces pain and can prevent further collapse of the vertebra, thereby […]