Interventional radiology is a minimally invasive way to directly treat affected areas through image guidance. The doctors and staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center are experts in helping you achieve lower risks, less pain and shorter recovery times compared to major surgery.
Reducing Risk for Strokes
The carotid arteries in your neck supply your brain with blood and oxygen. If these arteries become clogged due to excess cholesterol, strokes can occur.
Our Interventional Radiologists performs a procedure called carotid artery stenting in which a small tube (a stent) is placed inside the narrowing artery. This opens and strengthens the artery to prevent the blockage from reoccurring. Stenting is an alternative to conventional surgery and avoids trauma to nearby nerves in the neck. The procedure is performed without general anesthesia and the patient usually goes home after just one overnight hospital stay.
A Faster Recovery for Fibroids
As many as 1 in 5 women may suffer uterine fibroids during their childbearing years. This most common pelvic tumor usually affects women over age 30. They are rare in women under 20, and often shrink and cause no symptoms in women who have gone through menopause. The cause is unknown, and they are more common in African American women.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a less invasive alternative, and one with a faster recovery period than a six-week hysterectomy. UFE is a minimally invasive procedure that shrinks the fibroids but leaves the uterus and ovaries intact. A tiny catheter is inserted through a small incision and guided through the uterus. Tiny plastic particles are then injected into the artery that supplies blood to the fibroid. These particles block the fibroid’s supply of blood causing it to shrink. No general anesthesia is needed and only one overnight stay is usually required. Most women resume light activities in a few days and normal activities after one week.
Rapid Relief from Spinal Pain
Vertebroplasty is used to treat spinal pain caused by collapsed vertebrae due to injury, osteoporosis or other disease. Unlike spinal fusion and other invasive treatments, vertebroplasty is performed on an outpatient basis and without general anesthesia. By inserting a small needle into the collapsed bone and injecting a special bone cement, the bone is stabilized, providing pain relief.
“At one time, radiology was only a diagnostic tool to look inside the body. But now with interventional radiology we can treat many conditions that used to require major surgery.” – David J. Burkart, MD
- Lower risks
- Less pain
- Shorter recovery