Used to treat a variety of medical conditions, Interventional Radiology involves X-rays and other imaging techniques to view inside the body, while specially-trained physicians guide narrow tubes (catheters) and other very small instruments through the blood vessels and other bodily pathways to the site of a problem. The procedures are usually simpler, safer, less traumatic, less painful, and equally as effective as comparable surgical procedures.
Types of Interventional Radiology
- Angiography - an X-ray of the arteries and veins to detect and often treat blockage or narrowing of the vessels.
- Angioplasty - the use of a small balloon on the tip of a catheter inserted into a blood vessel to open up an area of blockage inside the vessel.
- Embolization - the insertion of a substance through a catheter into a blood vessel to stop hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding.
- Gastrostomy tubes - a gastrostomy tube (feeding tube) inserted into the stomach if the patient is unable to take food by mouth.
- Intravascular ultrasound - the use of ultrasound inside a blood vessel to better visualize the interior of the vessel in order to detect any issues.
- Stent placement - a tiny, expandable coil, placed inside a blood vessel at the site of a blockage. The stent is expanded to open up the blockage.
- Needle biopsy - a small needle inserted into the abnormal area in almost any part of the body, guided by imaging techniques, to obtain a tissue biopsy.
Preparing for Interventional Radiology Procedures
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day prior to your procedure. You should take your regular medications and may take small sips of water to wash them down. If you have an allergy to radiographic contrast (X-ray dye), special medicine must be arranged prior to the procedure.
For more information on Interventional Radiology at Jefferson or other medical imaging services available, please call 856-406-4100.