Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology is an area of medicine in which specialized physicians are able to use imaging guidance to perform diagnostic and treatment procedures in a minimally invasive way. These specialized physicians are able to direct small instruments into a blood vessel or target organ percutaneously (through the skin) to achieve the desired result.

Interventional Radiologists are medical doctors who have specialized in performing these minimally invasive techniques under imaging guidance. The imaging guidance may include x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan to diagnose and treat disease. Interventional Radiologists have undergone six years of training after medical school to develop their unique expertise in patient care through these image guided procedures. The Interventional Radiologists of Radiology, Inc. have all completed fellowships at accredited Interventional Radiology programs, are all Board certified by the American Board of Radiology and are all members of the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Radiology, Inc. physicians are performing such procedures as balloon angioplasty, vascular stenting, uterine artery embolization, percutaneous vertebroplasty, image guided pain management, venous access, biopsies, as well as other percutaneous drainage procedures in the abdomen and chest.

In addition, Radiology, Inc. physicians are often the first in the community to provide advanced, state-of-the-art procedures due to the emphasis we place on physician continuing education and skill development. Radiology, Inc. physicians were the first to bring carotid artery angioplasty, abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft placement, brachytherapy after balloon angioplasty to prevent arterial restenosis, biliary endoscopy, and percutaneous discectomy to our community. Definitions of some of the procedures performed by our Radiology, Inc. Interventional Radiologists are below. Our physicians are performing these procedures on a daily basis at Elkhart General Hospital and IU Health Goshen Hospital.

Angiography An x-ray exam of the arteries and veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems, uses a catheter to enter the blood vessel and a contrast agent (x-ray dye) to make the artery or vein visible on the x-ray.
Balloon angioplasty Opens blocked or narrowed blood vessels by inserting a very small balloon into the vessel and inflating it. Used by Irs to unblock clogged arteries in the legs or arms (called peripheral vascular disease or PVD), kidneys (called portal hypertension), brain or elsewhere in the body.
Biliary drainage and stenting Uses a stent (small mesh tube) to open up blocked ducts and allow bile to drain from the liver
Central venous access Insertion of a tube beneath the skin and into the blood vessels so that patients can receive medication or nutrients directly into the blood stream or so blood can be drawn.
Chemoembolization Delivery of cancer-fighting agents directly to the site of a cancer tumor, currently being used mostly to treat cancers of the endocrine system and liver cancers.
Embolization Delivery of clotting agents (coils, plastic particles, gel, foam, etc.) directly to an area that is bleeding or to block blood flow to a problem area, such as aneurysm or a fibroid tumor in the uterus.
Fallopian tube catheterization Uses a catheter to open blocked fallopian tubes without surgery; a treatment for infertility.
Gastrostomy tube Feeding tube inserted into the stomach for patients who are unable to take sufficient food by mouth.
Hemodialysis access maintenance Use of angioplasty or thrombolysis to open blocked grafts for Hemodialysis, which treats kidney failure.
Needle biopsy Diagnostic test for breast, lung and other cancers; an alternative to surgical biopsy.
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation Use of Radiofrequency (RF) energy to kill cancerous tumors.
Stent A small flexible tube made of plastic or wire mesh, used to treat a variety of medical conditions (e.g. to hold open clogged blood vessels or other pathways that have been narrowed or blocked by tumors or obstructions).
Stent-graft Reinforces a ruptured or ballooning section of an artery (an aneurysm) with a fabric-wrapped stent, a small, flexible mesh tube used to "patch" the blood vessel. Also known as an endograft.
Thrombolysis Dissolves blood clots by injecting clot-busting drugs at the site of the clot.
TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) A life-saving procedure to improve blood flow and prevent hemorrhage in patients with severe liver dysfunction.
Uterine artery embolization An embolization procedure of uterine arteries to stop life-threatening postpartum bleeding, potentially preventing hysterectomy. The same procedure is used to treat fibroid tumors and is then called UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization).
Uterine fibroid embolization Am embolization procedure of uterine arteries to shrink painful, enlarged, benign tumors in the uterus, also called UAE (Uterine Artery Embolization).
Varicocele embolization A treatment for "varicose veins" in the scrotum, which can cause male infertility and pain.
Vena cava filter A tiny cage-like device that is inserted in a blood vessel to break up clots and prevent them from reaching the heart or lungs.
Vertebroplasty Injection of bone cement into the spine to alleviate pain caused by fractured vertebra, a common result of osteoporosis.