Northwest Medical Center offers a full range of Interventional/Endovascular services including Biliary and Urologic interventions, vascular access, dialysis graft maintenance, Vertebroplasty, and Gynecologic interventions such as uterine artery (fibroid) embolization and fallopian tube recanulization.
Interventional Procedures refers to exams in Radiology that are generally known as invasive. Invasive simply means that the procedure involves the introduction of a device, such as a catheter or a needle, into the body. These procedures are used to visualize diseased blood vessels or a damaged spinal canal, to obtain biopsies of suspicious areas, and to perform beneficial angioplasty and/or stent procedures.
What Is Interventional Radiology?
Interventional Radiology is a medical specialty that has been called “The Surgery of the 21st Century”. Just like other medical specialists Interventional Radiologists are doctors who have many years of special training after medical school. This training includes radiation safety as well as the use X-Rays and other imaging techniques (Radiology) that “see” inside the body without surgery. These Physicians also undergo extensive training in techniques that treat diseases percutaneously (through the skin). Using Radiologic images to guide their procedures, Interventional Radiologists insert thin tubes (catheters) and other tiny instruments through the blood vessels and other pathways of the body to treat a wide variety of conditions that once required surgery. learn more »
How Small is Small?
Interventional Radiologists make a small nick in the skin and insert their tiny instruments through the nick. But how small is small? Remarkably, most incisions are no larger than the lead tip of a pencil! No stitches are needed.
A Recognized Medical Specialty
In 1992, the American Medical Association and the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officially recognized Interventional Radiology as a separate medical specialty. Today, there are more than 4,000 Interventional Radiologists in the United States.
Interventional Radiologists are highly trained. Following medical school and a year of internship, Interventional Radiologists spend four years studying Radiology. They are then eligible to take a special exam given by the American Board of Radiology. Physicians who pass this exam are called Board Certified Radiologists. Once they are board certified, Interventional Radiologists spend an extra year in an Interventional Radiology fellowship training program. Doctors who attend an accredited program and successfully complete their fellowship training are then eligible after one year of practice to take a special exam for added qualifications, the Vascular and Interventional Radiology CAQ exam. This exam is given by the American Board of Radiology.
Interventional Radiologists admit patients to the hospital and have the necessary clinical care skills to manage each patient’s care. Radiologists work closely with a patient’s primary care or other Physician to be sure that patient receives the best possible care.
Advantages of Interventional Radiology
· Risk, pain, and recovery time are significantly reduced in many cases.
· Many procedures can be performed without an overnight stay in the hospital.
· General anesthesia is usually not required.
· Procedures are often less expensive than the surgical alternatives.
What is the Difference Between a Surgeon and an Interventional Radiologist?
Interventional Radiologists use sophisticated, state-of-the-art X-Ray and other imaging devices to guide tiny catheters and other small tools through the body to treat disease without surgery. These tools enter the body through openings in the skin as small as the tip of a pencil.
A traditional surgeon makes an incision (a cut) to open up an area of the body, looks inside to determine what is wrong, fixes it and then closes the incision with stitches, staples, tape or other means.
A minimally invasive surgeon makes a smaller incision, places a scope ( a large metal tube) inside the body to determine what is wrong, fixes it and then closes the incision.
An interventional Radiologist is able to see inside the body of a patient without making a surgical incision but rather by using various X-Ray and other imaging techniques.
The Interventional Radiologist makes a tiny nick in the skin about the size of the tip of a pencil and guides a thin tube (catheter) and tiny, fine instruments to the site of a problem. The Interventional Radiologist then fixes the problem and removes the catheter and instrument. Stitches generally are not needed, and procedures rarely require general anesthesia.
The new procedure, called Endovascular Repair of Aortic Aneurysms, gives patients a safe alternative to traditional surgery. Using a stent that is inserted through two small incisions in the groin area, doctors can repair the aneurysm without damaging any surrounding tissues. As a result, patients experience far less discomfort and are able to return to daily activities and recover much faster.
If your physician requested you to bring your films to your next office visit, please mention this to the radiology office staff when you check in, and your films will be ready for you shortly after your exam.
If anytime after your exam you need to borrow your films, please call the Diagnostic Imaging Department at (954)978-4186.
If you think you may be pregnant, please inform you physician or the technologist before your exam.
If you have a known contrast allergy, please contact your physician or the imaging location where you are having your exam as soon as possible.