At Indiana University Health, our expert interventional radiologists provide leading edge, minimally invasive treatment options for a wide range of conditions. Interventional radiologists use advanced imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), X-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain images. The images are then used to guide specialized interventional instruments arteries, veins, joints and other areas of the body to deliver treatments.
Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology procedures have fewer risks of bleeding, infection and pain than traditional surgical procedures. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, peripheral interventions can reduce infection rates and recovery time, as well as shorten hospital stays. The majority of the interventions are performed as outpatient procedures with moderate sedation.
Interventional radiologists receive extensive fellowship training in performing these highly specialized procedures. Our experienced physicians offer treatment options for arthritis, uterine fibroids, infertility, varicose veins and many more conditions.
Through our partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, our physicians stay on the forefront of radiology techniques. We strive to discover new treatment options that reduce risks and improve the effectiveness of care.
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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a formation of a blood clot deep in the veins of the leg. DVT is usually very serious, as it can lead to other major complications such as permanent damage to the leg or a pulmonary embolism, which can be life threatening. There are around 600,000 new DVT cases in the United Stated each year and one in every 100 people who develop DVT dies.
Early treatment of DVT with blood thinners is important, but it does not treat the existing clot. Catheter directed thrombolysis is performed by interventional radiologists. The procedure rapidly breaks up the clot and restores blood flow in the vein. This works by placing the catheter tip directly in the clot where a “clot busting” drug can be infused directly.
Minimally invasive procedures are performed by an interventional radiologist to improve the blood flow in the arteries and veins.
During peripheral angioplasty/stenting, the physician threads a balloon-tipped catheter to the site of a narrow or blocked artery or vein and then inflates the balloon to help open the vessel. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the artery or vein.
Vascular stenting involves the placement of a small wire mesh tube, called a stent, in the newly opened artery. This may be necessary after some angioplasty procedures if the artery is very narrowed or completely blocked.
Laser Treatment of Vericose Veins
During laser treatment, the doctor puts a very small tube, called a catheter, into the vein. Once inside, the catheter sends out radiofrequency or laser energy that shrinks and seals the vein wall. The healthy veins around the closed vein then restore the normal flow of blood.
As this happens, symptoms from the varicose vein improve. Veins on the surface of the skin that are connected to the treated varicose vein will usually shrink after the treatment. When needed, these connected varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy or other techniques.
Uterine fibroids are very common non-cancerous growths in the muscular wall of the uterus that can range in size from tiny to larger than a cantaloupe. Often, there can be more than one fibroid and they are not always the cause of the symptoms. Due to location and size, some women may experience problems such as pain and heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroids can greatly increase in size during a pregnancy, but will shrink back to normal afterward.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment for uterine fibroids and is considered a very effective treatment both short-term and long-term. Many women with symptomatic fibroids are good candidates for embolization and should speak with an interventional radiologist to determine if UFE is the best and appropriate treatment for them.
Using an MRI, interventional radiologists can detect causes of symptoms, rule out misdiagnosis, identify effective and ineffective treatments and determine whether UFE will work for the patient.
Uterine fibroid embolization:
- Does not require general anesthesia
- Is a nonsurgical procedure
- Uses a catheter to supply tiny particles to the arteries and block blood flow to the fibroid tumor (causing it to shrink and disappear)
- Generally requires only a one-night hospital stay
- Allows for a quick recovery, with many women resuming light activity after a few days and almost all women resuming normal activity within seven to 10 days
According to the Society of Interventional Radiology, 85 – 90 percent of women who have UFE have significant or total relief of symptoms such as heavy bleeding and pain.
Interventional radiology provides an alternative to surgical treatment for many conditions and in some cases, it can even eliminate the need for hospitalization altogether.
Embolization is a nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist. It involves the selective occlusion of blood vessels by purposely introducing emboli. Embolization is used to treat a wide variety of conditions affecting the different organs of the human body such as:
- Hemorrhages: Gastrointestinal bleeding, postpartum hemorrhage, surgical hemorrhage and trauma.
- Growths: Uterine fibroids, kidney lesions and liver lesions
Hemodialysis Access & Maintenance
This process refers to establishing and maintaining vascular access (site on the body where blood is removed and returned) for hemodialysis patients.
Image Guided Biopsy
This biopsy is a minimally invasive method of obtaining tissue from the body without the need for surgery. The interventional radiologist performs a needle biopsy guided by either an ultrasound, CT or MRI.
IVC Filter Placement
IVC stands for inferior vena cava, a major blood vessel that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. An IVC filter is a small piece of metal that can be put into the inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots in the legs from going up to the lungs.
Urologic procedures include the use of interventional radiology techniques to treat kidney stones, tumors and urological vascular complications.
Vertebroplasty is an image guided, minimally invasive, non-surgical therapy used to strengthen a broken vertebrae (spinal bone) that has been weakened by osteoporosis or, less commonly, cancer.
The vertebroplasty procedure can increase your functional abilities, allow a quicker return to your previous level of activity and prevent further vertebral collapse. It is usually successful at alleviating the pain caused by a compression fracture.
Often performed on an outpatient basis, vertebroplasty is accomplished by injecting an orthopedic cement mixture through a needle into the fractured bone.
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