Interventional Radiology (IR) is a sophisticated and innovative specialty that has wide-ranging applications for a number of health conditions. Using imaging guidance, IR delivers minimally-invasive treatments in a way that targets the source of pain or disease.
Because of the many benefits of IR—it’s much less invasive than surgery, it can offer excellent health outcomes, it can shorten recovery time—it has even replaced many traditional surgeries as the go-to treatment option for some conditions.
How IR Works
Using image guidance (X-ray, ultrasound or CT) an interventional radiologist direct a tiny needle or catheter to the affected part of the body. Precise image guidance allows the physician to target the area that needs to be treated—all without incisions like those used in traditional open surgery.
Depending on the condition being treated, IR procedures can involve a number of different techniques. These can include:
- Angioplasty, which repairs or unblocks blood vessels
- Biopsy, removal and examination of body tissue to examine for disease
- Embolization, a technique to kill cancer cells or other tissue by blocking blood flow to them
- Radiofrequency ablation, which is used to address nerve pain or tumors
- Stenting, the insertion of mesh tubing to support weakened arteries
- Thrombolysis, a technique that helps dissolve blood clots
IR Treatments Across Multiple Medical Specialties
IR can be used to treat the following health conditions:
- Aortic aneurysm
- Aortic dissection
- Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Biliary conditions
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding and ischemia
- Liver cancer and other conditions
- Lymphatic malformations
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Portal hypertension
- Pulmonary embolism (PE)
- Spider veins
- Uterine fibroids
- Variceal bleeding
- Varicose veins
- Vertebral fracture
Conditions Beach Wellness MD Treats Using IR
Ali Golshan, MD, is a double board-certified leading expert who specializes in outpatient interventional radiology treatments at Beach Wellness MD. We use interventional radiology for a number of different conditions to help our patients achieve a better quality of life.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a vascular condition that is the result of the narrowing or blockage of arteries in the limbs. It usually occurs in the legs, but can affect the arms and other areas of the body. Reduced blood flow can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms and, if left untreated, can increase the risk for serious complications. IR offers minimally-invasive treatment options for PAD including balloon angioplasty, atherectomy, and stenting.
Uterine Fibroids are benign (not cancerous) growths that occur in the uterus. They can cause problems like abnormal bleeding, infertility, and pelvic pain, while some women experience no symptoms at all. With IR, fibroids can be treated less invasively than they were in the past—women previously often had to undergo a myomectomy or hysterectomy to treat them.
With IR, fibroids can be treated with embolization, a non-surgical procedure that causes fibroids to die and shrink when a small catheter is inserted into an artery near the blood supply of the fibroid. Small particles are released from the catheter that block the vessels supplying blood to the fibroid, depriving it of nutrients.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) happens when veins in the abdomen are not working properly, leading to the build-up of blood and enlarged, painful veins. It can cause pelvic pain, but fortunately, IR offers a convenient in-office treatment. X-ray imaging and contrast material is used to visualize the blood vessels. Abnormal pelvic veins are closed off using the insertion of a coil.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
Varicose veins and spider veins both arise because of blood vessels that have become weakened or damaged, preventing proper blood flow and leading to blood pooling in the veins. Spider veins are more superficial, while varicose veins lie deeper under the skin.
IR treatment for varicose veins or spider veins involves the use of injectable medications to target the damaged veins, causing them to collapse. Blood will naturally reroute to healthy veins.
Consult an Interventional Radiologist
At Beach Wellness MD, we emphasize one-on-one treatment and personalized attention for each patient. Because IR is outpatient and minimally-invasive, our patients can expect a fast recovery!
Call (310) 620-1851 or contact us online today to schedule your appointment.