Interventional Radiology

At Indiana University Health, we use interventional radiology to diagnose and treat patients by using the least invasive techniques available in order to minimize your risk and improve your outcome. Our interventional radiologists provide leading edge, minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment options for a wide range of conditions.

Indiana University Health West Hospital provides comprehensive interventional radiology services. Our physicians use advanced imaging techniques, such as computed tomography (CT), to guide specialized instruments into arteries, veins, joints and other areas of the body to diagnose and treat conditions.

Interventional radiology procedures have fewer risks of bleeding, infection and pain than traditional surgical procedures. Often, patients do not have to stay in the hospital after a procedure and have quicker recovery times.

Interventional radiology services provided by IU Health West Hospital include:

  • Biliary drainage and stenting. Biliary drainage is a procedure in which a catheter is placed through the skin into the liver to drain bile. If there is a blockage in the biliary system, a stent may be placed a few days after the drainage catheter to help hold open the biliary obstruction.
  • Embolization. Embolization is a minimally invasive means of blocking the arteries that supply blood to fibroids. Uterine artery embolization, or UAE, is an alternative to hysterectomy. Angiographic techniques (similar to those used in heart catheterization) are used to place a catheter into the uterine arteries. Small particles are injected into the arteries, which results in their blockage. This technique is essentially the same as that used to control bleeding that occurs after childbirth, pelvic fracture or bleeding caused by malignant tumors.
  • Hemodialysis access and maintenance. This technique involves establishing and maintaining vascular access (the site on the body where blood is removed and returned) for hemodialysis patients.
  • Image guided biopsy. Image guided 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 ultrasound, CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Inferior vena cava filter placement. This procedure involves the inferior vena cava (IVC), 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 placed into the IVC to prevent blood clots in the legs from traveling to the lungs.
  • Laser treatment of varicose veins. During this procedure, a very small tube, called a catheter, is placed into the vein. Once inside, the catheter sends out radiofrequency or laser energy that shrinks and seals the vein wall. Healthy veins around the closed vein 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 also usually shrink after treatment. When needed, these connected varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy or other techniques.
  • Peripheral angiography. Peripheral angiography is a method for diagnosing peripheral vascular disease (PVD) in which a contrast agent (dye) is injected into the blood stream and followed by X-ray. Using this technique, our specialists can see the areas of blockage.
  • Peripheral angioplasty/stenting. Peripheral angioplasty/stenting involves minimally invasive procedures performed by an interventional radiologist to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries. The physician threads a balloon-tipped catheter (a thin, plastic tube) to the site of a narrow or blocked artery and then inflates the balloon to open the vessel.
  • Radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency ablation uses heated radio waves to treat some tumors.
  • Urologic procedures. Urologic procedures involve the use of interventional radiology techniques to treat kidney stones, tumors and urological vascular complications.
  • Vascular stenting. Vascular stenting, which we often perform at the same time as an angioplasty, 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 significantly narrowed or completely blocked.
  • Vertebroplasty. This is an image-guided, minimally invasive nonsurgical therapy used to strengthen a broken vertebra (spinal bone) that has been weakened by osteoporosis or, less commonly, cancer. Vertebroplasty can increase the patient’s functional abilities, allow a return to the 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.

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.