St. Joseph's Hospital: Minimally Invasive Interventional Radiology Procedures
Uterine Fibroid Embolization
At one time treating uterine fibroid tumors meant a hysterectomy, now for many women, there's another option. Interventional Radiologists now offer a simple, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that can shrink fibroids down to nothing. And all you give, is afternoon.
Through very simple procedure called, Vein Ablation, a small catheter is inserted into the vein. A laser in the catheter cauterizes the vein closed. Other, bigger veins within the body naturally take over the duties of supplying blood to the leg. The varicose vein shrinks and disappears from view.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs) are a common method of treating inflammation associated with low back related leg pain, or neck related arm pain. The epidural space is a fat filled ‘sleeve’ that surrounds the spinal sac and provides cushioning for the nerves and spinal cord. Steroids (‘cortisone’) are injected into the epidural space have a very potent anti-inflammatory action that can decrease pain and allow patients to improve function.
Vertebroplasty is a spinal procedure in which bone cement is injected through a small hole in the skin (percutaneously) into a fractured vertebra with the goal of relieving back pain caused by vertebral compression fractures. Often, patients have immediate relief.
Chemoembolization and Radioembolization
Chemoembolization is a technique that has been very successful at treating primary liver tumors or biologically active tumors that have spread to the liver. This procedure involves delivering high doses of chemotherapy to the tumors while cutting off their blood supply. Radiombolization is a newer technique used to treat colon cancer or breast cancer that has spread to the liver. In this procedure, radioactive particles are infused into the liver and treats the tumors with internal radiation therapy. Both of these treatments limit the effect on the surrounding healthy parts of the liver.
Repairing exisiting or providing new access for both routine and emergent dialysis treatment through balloon angioplasty, stenting, dialysis catheter insertion or thrombolysis.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a common circulation problem in which the arteries that carry blood to the legs or arms become narrowed or clogged. Minimally invasive treatments include: Angioplasty, which uses a tiny balloon to open the blood vessel. Stents, which act as scaffolding to hold the blood vessel open. Thrombolytic therapy or clotbusting drugs, and Stent-Graphs which are used to bypass diseased arteries completely.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot, or bursts, causing the brain to starve. A leading cause of stroke is carotid artery disease (CAD, plaque build up in the carotid arteries. In patients at high risk of having a stroke, the narrowed section of artery may be re-opened through angioplasty and reinforced with a stent, thereby preventing the stroke from occurring. If a stroke occurs and is due to a blood clot, a clot-busting drug can be given intravenously to break up or reduce the size of blood clots to the brain. This technique must be performed within three hours from the onset of symptoms.