SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Interventional radiology (IR) was developed approximately 40 years ago and continues to evolve, with the ongoing introduction of new treatments for a rapidly expanding array of conditions that once required open surgery.
An interventional radiologist performs minimally invasive, targeted procedures using imaging techniques. The ability to view arteries, veins or other tubular structures enables the interventional radiologist to thread tiny catheters and miniature instruments through vessels to the site of disease or injury and effectively and safely perform diagnostic and treatment procedures. Often, the catheter’s initial entry is in the wrist, from where it is guided into the artery and on to the destination for treatment.
“I am a creative person and have a passion for art,” said Anthony Febles, MD, who directs Phelps Hospital’s Interventional Radiology service. “In fact, before I went into medicine, I had considered studying art. In a way, being an interventional radiologist allows me to be an artist as well as a healer. No two cases are the same, and visualizing and navigating inside the body have a creative aspect. It is a perfect combination that fulfills my ultimate goal, which is to help my patients heal and enjoy their lives.”
Advances in Cancer Treatment with IR
With the latest IR treatments, patients receive more targeted treatments, and in some cases the patient doesn’t experience the usual side effects of chemotherapy. Since interventional radiology procedures target the tumor, healthy tissue is preserved.
Radioembolization (Y-90), the latest cancer treatment for the liver, delivers little radiation beads directly into the tumor. The beads remain in the tumor, killing it over a period of weeks. The liver itself is not damaged, and the radiation gradually diminishes.
To learn more about other advances in cancer treatments such as thermal ablation, cryoablation and chemoembolization, click here .
Other Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures
Interventional radiology can be used in treating a broad array of conditions, from gastrointestinal to obstetric, for port placement or to replace a catheter, to heal wounds or treat varicose veins with laser ablation.
Patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures experience less pain than with open surgeries. The procedures are generally performed on an outpatient basis with most patients going home the same day.
To learn more about how interventional radiology is being used to treat and diagnose other conditions, click here .