General Interventional Radiology

Providing the least-invasive treatment for a wide range of conditions

Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated nonsurgically by interventional radiologists. Physicians use advanced imaging techniques such as X-rays to guide specialized instruments through your blood vessels or other pathways to treat your health problem.

Overview

Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated nonsurgically by interventional radiologists. Physicians use advanced imaging techniques such as X-rays to guide specialized instruments through your blood vessels or other pathways to treat your health problem.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

You might be able to avoid surgery, have only small incisions and get back to normal much more quickly with an interventional procedure.

All general interventional procedures use imaging — X-rays, CT scanning, MRI or ultrasound. Your doctor will use the images to guide special instruments into your arteries, veins and other parts of your body.

Procedures include:

  • Abscess drainage — Your doctor will insert a catheter (thin tube) into an abscess (pus-filled mass) to drain the infection.
  • Paracentesis — Your doctor will use a needle to drain excess fluid from your abdomen.
  • Thoracentesis — Your doctor will guide a small tube through your chest wall to drain fluid from the space between your lungs (called the pleural space).
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) — Your doctor will guide a small tube into your liver, connecting inflow and outflow veins to improve your blood flow. This lifesaving procedure helps prevent hemorrhage (heavy bleeding) from severe liver dysfunction.
  • Bile duct obstruction — Your doctor will place a stent or catheter to open up your blocked bile ducts. This allows bile to drain from your liver.
  • Biopsies — Your doctor will take a sample of your tissue to identify the cause of a lump, mass or other problem.
  • Gastrostomy tubes — If you are unable to take food or oral medication by mouth, your doctor may need to place a gastrostomy tube in your stomach. You can then be fed through the tube.
  • Joint injections — Your doctor will inject medication into your joint to relieve pain from arthritis.
  • Venous access/PICC lines — Your doctor will insert a small tube called a central venous access catheter (CVAC) into your vein. The catheter provides a simple, pain-free way for you to have blood draws and receive medication, nutrients and contrast dye for imaging.

What to Expect

Minimally Invasive Procedures

You might be able to avoid surgery, have only small incisions and get back to normal much more quickly with an interventional procedure.

All general interventional procedures use imaging — X-rays, CT scanning, MRI or ultrasound. Your doctor will use the images to guide special instruments into your arteries, veins and other parts of your body.

Procedures include:

  • Abscess drainage — Your doctor will insert a catheter (thin tube) into an abscess (pus-filled mass) to drain the infection.
  • Paracentesis — Your doctor will use a needle to drain excess fluid from your abdomen.
  • Thoracentesis — Your doctor will guide a small tube through your chest wall to drain fluid from the space between your lungs (called the pleural space).
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) — Your doctor will guide a small tube into your liver, connecting inflow and outflow veins to improve your blood flow. This lifesaving procedure helps prevent hemorrhage (heavy bleeding) from severe liver dysfunction.
  • Bile duct obstruction — Your doctor will place a stent or catheter to open up your blocked bile ducts. This allows bile to drain from your liver.
  • Biopsies — Your doctor will take a sample of your tissue to identify the cause of a lump, mass or other problem.
  • Gastrostomy tubes — If you are unable to take food or oral medication by mouth, your doctor may need to place a gastrostomy tube in your stomach. You can then be fed through the tube.
  • Joint injections — Your doctor will inject medication into your joint to relieve pain from arthritis.
  • Venous access/PICC lines — Your doctor will insert a small tube called a central venous access catheter (CVAC) into your vein. The catheter provides a simple, pain-free way for you to have blood draws and receive medication, nutrients and contrast dye for imaging.

Write down questions you want to ask your provider so you don’t forget them at your appointment.

  • Is my procedure permanent, or could my condition come back?
  • Do interventional radiology procedures hurt?
  • Can I go home the same day as my procedure?
  • Do I need someone to drive me home?
  • Will I have sedation for my procedure? What kind?
  • Can I go back to normal activities right after my procedure?
  • After there any side effects from an interventional radiology procedure?
  • Have your other patients had success with these procedures?
  • How many procedures like mine have you performed?

Questions to Ask Your Provider

Write down questions you want to ask your provider so you don’t forget them at your appointment.

  • Is my procedure permanent, or could my condition come back?
  • Do interventional radiology procedures hurt?
  • Can I go home the same day as my procedure?
  • Do I need someone to drive me home?
  • Will I have sedation for my procedure? What kind?
  • Can I go back to normal activities right after my procedure?
  • After there any side effects from an interventional radiology procedure?
  • Have your other patients had success with these procedures?
  • How many procedures like mine have you performed?