What Are Common Conditions Treated With Interventional Radiology?

Dec 22, 2023

Interventional Radiologist Fibroid Treatments Specialist Field

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by narrowed or blocked arteries, typically in the legs. Living with PAD can present significant challenges, impacting daily life in various ways. Individuals may experience a dull ache or cramping sensation with every step, which makes walking difficult. In some cases, the pain may escalate, taking the form of a sharp, shooting sensation that travels up the leg.

PAD also manifests through symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and coldness in the legs, which further hinder mobility. Additionally, wounds may take longer to heal, leaving individuals more susceptible to infections. Emotionally, witnessing the gradual decline in one’s own physical abilities can be quite traumatic.

The good news is that endovascular experts have developed several effective and minimally-invasive treatments for PAD. One such treatment is angioplasty, which involves widening the narrowed artery and restoring blood flow using a small balloon. In some cases, a stent (a small mesh tube) is placed during angioplasty to keep the artery open, although it may not always be necessary, as angioplasty alone can often suffice.

Spinal compression fractures are a common occurrence, particularly among individuals with osteoporosis or bone tumors. Trauma can also cause these fractures, resulting in collapsed or compressed vertebrae, which often leads to sudden, severe back pain, limited mobility, and a hunched posture.

To manage the pain, some patients may find relief through medication. However, for others, an outpatient procedure called Kyphoplasty can be highly beneficial. Kyphoplasty involves inflating a small balloon inside the vertebra, creating additional space. Our skilled physicians then utilize advanced imaging technology to insert bone cement directly into the fractured bone, providing stability and reducing back pain.

In certain cases, this procedure can even restore height to the compressed vertebrae, enabling the patient to stand up straighter. Additionally, Kyphoplasty can be combined with ablation to treat a spinal tumor.

Uterine fibroids, benign growths within the uterus, can affect up to many women. While not cancerous, these growths can cause distressing symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. Prompt attention is crucial. Traditionally, a hysterectomy, which removes the uterus, was the go-to treatment. However, this procedure can be physically traumatic and eliminates the possibility of future pregnancies.

Fortunately, interventional radiologists have developed Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) as an alternative solution. UFE involves injecting tiny particles into the blood vessels that supply the fibroids, effectively cutting off their blood supply and causing them to shrink. This technique relieves symptoms without the need for surgery, preserving the uterus and offering a quicker recovery time compared to more invasive options. UFE is just as effective as a hysterectomy, providing women with a remarkable alternative to consider that avoids surgery and preserves their uterus.

Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) is a procedure to address knee pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a degenerative joint disease that leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the affected joint. GAE involves blocking or reducing blood flow to the genicular arteries, which are the small arteries that supply blood to the knee joint.

During the GAE procedure, our experienced physicians insert a thin catheter into the femoral artery using imaging guidance. The catheter is then guided to the genicular arteries, where tiny particles or coils are injected to block or reduce blood flow. By doing so, GAE aims to alleviate pain by preventing inflammation and reducing the nerve signals associated with pain.

An important advantage of GAE is that it is typically performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home the same day. This innovative procedure offers an effective solution for individuals seeking relief from arthritis-related knee pain.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, also known as Ovarian Vein Reflux or Pelvic Venous Disease, is a medical condition that is often underdiagnosed and misunderstood.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is characterized by the development of varicose veins in the pelvic area. These swollen veins occur due to malfunctioning valves that control the direction of blood flow in the veins. They may be a result of multiple pregnancies or anatomic abnormalities like May-Thurner Syndrome.

The main symptom of PCS is pelvic pain that worsens when standing. When upright, the faulty vein valves impede proper blood flow, causing blood to pool in the pelvis. This leads to chronic, deep, and progressively worsening pain, often exacerbated throughout the day.

Common symptoms of PCS include pelvic pain, pain before or during menstruation, sudden urges to urinate, pain during intercourse, and enlarged and distorted veins on the buttocks, vulva, or thighs.

To assess and address the symptoms, a comprehensive pelvic pain program evaluates various potential causes, including uterine, endometrial, cervical, vascular, and neurologic factors. Once the underlying cause is identified, appropriate treatment can be initiated using proven therapies.

The primary treatment approach for PCS is ovarian vein embolization, a minimally invasive procedure that offers a shorter recovery period for patients. After an imaging diagnosis and clinic consultation, a venogram will be conducted to determine the need for embolization by placing a coil on the affected ovarian vein.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition characterized by an enlarged prostate. However, it’s important to note that not all cases of an enlarged prostate are BPH. BPH is a complex and troublesome condition that can present with various symptoms, such as an enlarged prostate, increased frequency of urination, difficulties urinating, weak urine stream, urinary tract infections, incomplete urination, and hematuria (presence of blood in the urine).

These symptoms can cause significant discomfort and embarrassment for individuals affected by BPH. In the past, surgical interventions were commonly used to manage BPH by resecting or removing prostate tissue. However, concerns about undergoing surgery in such a sensitive area have led many patients to seek alternative options.

A promising alternative to traditional surgical approaches is Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE). PAE is a minimally-invasive procedure that offers comparable effectiveness to surgery, without the associated risks of impotence or incontinence. During PAE, highly skilled physicians use advanced imaging technologies to guide a small catheter into the artery supplying blood to the prostate. Microspheres are then injected into the artery, blocking the blood flow and reducing the size of the prostate.

Patients often favor PAE due to its accessibility through an artery (typically in the wrist or groin) and its minimally-invasive nature. PAE provides another viable option for individuals seeking effective treatment for BPH.

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