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About Interventional Radiology

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Interventional radiology (IR) is an exciting area of modern medicine delivering precise, targeted treatment for complex diseases and conditions throughout the body. Using minimally invasive image-guided techniques, interventional radiologists provide high quality care with less morbidity and often at a lower cost than many surgical alternatives.

IR can deliver many patient benefits including;

  • Reduced risk …
  • Less pain …
  • Shorter recovery times.

Interventional radiology (also known as IR) is the minimally invasive, image-guided treatment of medical conditions that once required open surgery.

By utilising the power of advanced medical imaging such as ultrasound, X-ray, CAT scan and MRI interventional radiologists can see inside your body and treat complex conditions less invasively and with unprecedented precision.

Interventional radiologists are on the front lines of clinical advances and use of the latest image-guided technologies. They are board-certified physicians who are trained in both radiology and minimally invasive therapies.

Interventional radiologists work across the body to deliver minimally invasive treatments for a variety of conditions.

This video gives a great insight into what Interventional Radiology is all about;

 

What treatments make up Interventional Radiology;

Angiogram

An X-ray exam of the arteries and veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems; uses a catheter to enter the blood vessel and a contrast agent (X-ray dye) to make the artery or vein visible on the X-ray.

Angioplasty

Opens blocked or narrowed blood vessels by inserting a very small balloon into the vessel and inflating it. Used by Interventional Radiologists to unblock clogged arteries in the legs or arms (called peripheral arterial disease or PAD), kidneys, brain or elsewhere in the body.

Biliary drainage and stenting

Uses a stent (small mesh tube) to open up blocked ducts and allow bile to drain from the liver.

Central venous access

Insertion of a tube beneath the skin and into the blood vessels so that patients can receive medication or nutrients directly into the blood stream or so blood can be drawn.

Chemoembolisation

Delivery of cancer-fighting agents directly to the site of a cancer tumor; currently being used mostly to treat cancers of the endocrine system and liver cancers.

Embolisation

Delivery of clotting agents (coils, plastic particles, gel, foam, etc.) directly to an area that is bleeding or to block blood flow to a problem area, such as an aneurysm or a fibroid tumor in the uterus.

Ovarian Vein Embolisation for Treatment of Pelvic Congestion

Pelvic congestion typically leads to pelvic pain. This can be managed very successfully with a minimally invasive procedure to occlude the veins that have led to the symptoms.

Uterine artery embolisation

An embolisation procedure of uterine arteries to stop life-threatening postpartum bleeding, potentially preventing hysterectomy. The same procedure is used to treat fibroid tumors and is then called UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolisation).

Varicocele embolisation

A treatment for “varicose veins” in the scrotum, which can cause male infertility and pain.

Prostate Artery Embolisation

For the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyerplasia

 

Gastrostomy tube

Feeding tube inserted into the stomach for patients who are unable to take sufficient food by mouth.

Hemodialysis access maintenance

Use of angioplasty or thrombolysis to open blocked grafts for hemodialysis, which treats kidney failure.

High Blood Pressure

In some patients with high blood pressure, the condition is caused by a narrowing of the arteries in the kidneys. The problem, called renal hypertension, often can be treated with angioplasty.

Infection and Abscess Drainage

Patients with a variety of illnesses may develop an area of persistent infection (abscess) in the body. The infection can be drained by inserting a catheter through a small nick in the skin and to the site of the infection. Also used to treat complications of open surgery

Radiofrequency ablation

Use of radiofrequency (RF) energy to treat cancerous tumors.

Thrombolysis

Dissolves blood clots by injecting clot-busting drugs at the site of the clot. Treats blood clots in the brain to reverse the effects of stroke; treats deep vein thrombosis in the leg to prevent permanent disability.

Urinary Tract Obstruction

The ureter carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder and sometimes becomes blocked by kidney stones or other obstructions. The interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through a small nick in the skin and into the blocked kidney to drain the urine.

Vena cava filter

A tiny cage-like device that is inserted in a blood vessel to break up clots and prevent them from reaching the heart or lungs. Prevents pulmonary embolism.

Image Guided Pain Management Injections

Using ultrasound/ Fluroscopy/ CT guidance, Interventional Radiologists can provide chronic pain patients with relief using precise injections into a range of joints and vertebrae.