Interventional Radiology


Angiography is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside, or lumen, of blood vessels and organs of the body, with particular interest in the arteries, veins and the heart chambers to determine blockages and other medical conditions. This is traditionally done by injecting a radio-opaque contrast agent into the blood vessel and imaging these vessels using a radiology based technique such as fluoroscopy.

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Carotid Angiography

Carotid angiography is an invasive imaging procedure that involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm or leg, and guiding it to the carotid arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Contrast dye is injected through the catheter so that images of your carotid arteries (the arteries that supply your brain with oxygen-rich blood) may be taken. This procedure is considered the “gold standard” for imaging the carotid and cerebral vessels.

Port-a-Cath Insertion

A port-a-cath is an implanted venous access device for patients who need frequent or continuous administration of chemotherapy. Drugs used for chemotherapy are often toxic, and can damage skin, muscle tissue, and sometimes veins. They often need to be delivered into a large central vein where the drugs are immediately diluted by blood stream and delivered efficiently to the entire body. Cancer patients also require frequent blood tests to monitor their treatments and for those patients with difficult veins, it can also be used for withdrawing blood for blood tests.

Dialysis Fistulagram / Angioplasty

A Dialysis Fistulagram involves the placement of one or more plastic tube(s) (catheters) into your dialysis graft/fistula. Once the catheter has been placed into the graft/fistula, it will be advanced through the blood vessels. During this time, contrast material (x-ray dye) will be injected through the catheter and images will be taken. Depending on the results of the fistulogram, an angioplasty, stent placement, or thrombolytic therapy may be performed.
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Renal Angiogram

A renal angiogram is a radiographic study of blood vessels to the kidneys. X-rays are taken while contrast dye is injected into a catheter (a tiny tube) that has been placed into the blood vessels of the kidneys to detect any signs of blockage, narrowing, or other abnormalities affecting the blood supply. If a narrowing is found, the patient may be a candidate for angioplasty (repair of the artery using a balloon).

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive treatment for fibroid tumors of the uterus. During a UFE procedure, the physician will use an x-ray camera called a fluoroscope to guide the delivery of small particles to the uterus and fibroids. The small particles are injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, causing the fibroids to shrink. Nearly 90 percent of women with fibroids experience relief of their symptoms.

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Central Venous Access

Central venous access is the placement of a venous catheter into a vein that leads directly to the heart. The purpose for inserting a central venous catheter is to administer medication and/or nutrition as well as provide a reasonable access for drawing blood.

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Vena Cava Filter

Your inferior vena cava (IVC) is a large vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. IVC filters are devices placed into the inferior vena cava in the abdomen. They are used for patients who have or are at risk to develop clots (deep vein thrombosis or DVTs) of the legs, and who cannot be treated by blood thinners alone. The IVC filter traps blood clots that have broken loose and prevents them from reaching the lungs, an event called pulmonary embolism.

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

Vertebroplasty is a non-surgical treatment used to strengthen broken bones weakened by osteoporosis, cancer, or some other cause. It is done by injecting an orthopedic cement mixture through a needle into the affected bone. Kyphoplasty is an attempt to elevate the bone by inserting a balloon into a compressed vertebra prior to injecting the cement mixture.

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Radio Frequency Ablation for Tumors

Radiofrequency ablation (RF ablation) is a minimally invasive treatment for cancer that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The treatment is an alternative when surgery is not a good option for patients for various reasons, often when other medical conditions increase the risk of surgery.

CT or Ultrasound Guided Tumor Biopsy

These are diagnostic tests used for performing a biopsy to diagnose breast, lung, and other cancers; an alternative to a surgical biopsy.

Information used with permission of Society of Interventional Radiology 2004, 2010, All rights reserved.