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HCA Midwest Health

Interventional radiology

Interventional radiology refers to minimally invasive, image-guided procedures. An interventional radiologist typically uses a thin catheter with a small camera to diagnose and even treat a variety of diseases.

Interventional imaging procedures in Kansas City

Surgery may not be for everyone, so we offer an array of interventional radiology (IR) procedures that act as minimally invasive alternatives.

A subspecialty of radiology, IR doctors read and interpret conventional imaging exams, using the results to guide minimally invasive diagnostics and treatments. At HCA Midwest Health, our interventional radiologists are experts in utilizing these technologies for a variety of purposes, such as angiography, embolization and neurological care.

IR procedures we perform

Often, IR specialists use fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) and ultrasound imaging when determining diagnoses and devising treatment plans. We perform a variety of procedures, including opening up blocked arteries and advanced cancer treatments. Our full range of IR services includes

  • Aneurysm embolizations, or cerebral coiling — Here, a metal coil is placed into an aneurysm to block blood flow and prevent a rupture.
  • Angiograms — After injecting a contrast agent into the blood vessels, X-ray imaging is used to take pictures of the arteries and veins.
  • Angioplasty — This involves inserting a catheter into a blocked artery where a small balloon is inflated to restore proper blood flow.
  • Atherectomy — Opening a blocked blood vessel using a blade at the end of a catheter to remove plaque from the blood vessel.
  • Biopsy — Extracting a tissue sample from the body for further analysis.
  • Catheter angiography — When a contrast material is injected into the area being examined, enhancing image quality.
  • Central line placement — When a catheter is inserted and maneuvered to a large vein in the body, providing direct access for delivering medications and certain forms of nutrition.
  • Chemoembolization — This special type of chemotherapy treatment for liver cancer delivers a large dose directly into tumors.
  • Declotting — Using image guidance to locate and dissolve clots in fistulas and grafts.
  • Diskography — An imaging exam used to examine intervertebral discs in the spine that may be causing back pain.
  • Drainage — When a catheter is inserted into the abdomen or chest, while the other end remains outside the body, allowing fluids to drain.
  • Kyphoplasty — When a balloon is inserted into a fractured vertebrae to create space that is then filled with bone cement.
  • Lower leg venography — An imaging procedure that uses a contrast agent to closely examine the veins in the legs.
  • Nephrostomy — A procedure enabling the placement of a tube through the kidney, which allows urine to collect.
  • Port placement — Placement of a small medical device, called a port, underneath the skin to administer drugs and draw blood.
  • Radiofrequency ablation — A procedure to reduce or stop pain using heat to burn the nerves responsible for sending pain signals.
  • Stent placement — Inserting a small medical device, called a stent, into a blocked or narrowed blood vessel to widen the artery and facilitate blood flow.
  • Tunnel catheters — When a catheter is placed under the skin within a vein to provide long-term access.
  • Uterine fibroid embolization — Treating uterine fibroids by delivering an embolic agent that blocks the arteries providing blood to the fibroids.
  • Vertebroplasty — Injecting bone cement into the site of a vertebrae fracture.

Understanding interventional radiology

IR procedures are considered minimally invasive, meaning we use needles and catheters inserted through small incisions to treat medical conditions. We use imaging technology to precisely maneuver these catheters throughout the body via the blood vessels.

IR specialty services

Within the interventional radiology field, various subspecialties focus on specific techniques and areas of the body. These include the following:

  • Neurointerventional radiology — Neurointerventional procedures, also called endovascular surgical neuroradiology, use advanced imaging and guidance techniques to navigate catheters and other devices through veins and arteries. These minimally invasive techniques can often prevent the need for more extensive surgery, which may come with increased risks and longer recovery times.
  • Neuroradiology — Neuroradiology focuses on diagnosing disorders of the brain, spine and nerves using advanced neuroimaging techniques. Neuroradiologists also help perform neurointerventional surgery.

Benefits of IR procedures

Like most forms of minimally invasive surgery, IR offers many benefits compared to traditional surgery, including:

  • Faster recovery
  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced medical costs
  • Shorter hospital stays

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