Interventional radiology procedures are minimum invasive procedures guided by imaging techniques for diagnosis or treatment of various conditions.
Here are some commonly used procedures:
Vascular Interventional Radiology
Interventional radiology is an excellent option for patients suffering from pain or life-threatening conditions. Some arterial diseases that may benefit from IR are:
- Peripheral artery disease: It is a condition with hardened arteries that may cause pain and decreased mobility.
- Arterial aneurysms: In this disorder, a part of your blood vessel bulges and weakens. If this part of the blood vessel ruptures, it can result in internal bleeding.
- Arterio-venous malformation: It is a condition with an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins, without capillaries in between, which disrupts normal blood flow and oxygen circulation.
In such cases, interventional radiologists may help manage symptoms by sealing off an aneurysm or restore blood flow in blocked arteries.
Some common procedures are:
- Peripheral vascular disease stenting and angioplasty: If you have peripheral vascular disease, stenting and angioplasty help relieve painful symptoms and restore blood flow.
- Endoleak embolization: If you have undergone an aortic aneurysm repair, there is an increased risk of filling blood in the aneurysm sac (endoleak). Endoleak embolization is a minimally invasive procedure where an interventional radiologist blocks the blood flow to the aneurysm using a catheter.
- Visceral artery embolization: When a part of the abdominal artery supplying the kidney, intestines, spleen, and liver enlarges, it is known as a visceral aneurysm. In such cases, the interventional radiologist may manage it using visceral artery embolization.
Neuro Interventional Radiology
It involves endovascular treatment of arteriovenous malformation and aneurysm in the brain and stroke (explained below). The endovascular devices are inserted through peripheral vessels where they open blockages or stop bleeding.
- Brain arteriovenous malformation: It is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels in the brain. Headaches and seizures are the most common symptoms of a brain AVM. Management includes surgical resection and endovascular embolization.
- Cerebral aneurysm: An aneurysm occurring in the brain is known as a cerebral aneurysm. An unruptured aneurysm may cause weakness, numbness, or paralysis on one side of the face. In comparison, a ruptured aneurysm may cause a headache, which is described as the worst headache of your life. Some treatment options include embolization, flow diversion devices, and microvascular clipping.
- Stroke: It is a condition where the blood supply to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted, preventing brain cells from getting nutrients and oxygen. A stroke is a medical emergency and needs immediate treatment. Some treatment options are endovascular embolization, surgical resection, and clipping.
Non-Vascular Interventional Radiology
It is also known as interventional oncology, but it can also be useful for benign conditions. Non-vascular IR therapies are used to:
- Treat cancer
- Relieve effects of cancer on other systems such as liver or kidneys
- Place feeding tubes
- Drain collection of pus or fluid in the abdomen or chest
- To manage collapsed spinal bones
Some common procedures include:
- Kidney, liver, and other tumors: It involves destructive therapies (ablation) involving cold damage (cryotherapy) or heat damage (laser, ultrasound, radiofrequency, or microwave).
- Tumor therapies: These therapies are intended to destroy or shrink tumors at their primary sites or areas where they have spread.
- Uterine fibroids: These benign fibroids may cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Blocking their blood supply by embolization causes these tumors to shrink.