Interventional Radiology

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Our Approach to Treatment

Houston Methodist’s board-certified interventional radiologists use minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases.
The highly skilled doctors and staff at Houston Methodist Hospital’s Endovascular Center have done thousands of interventional procedures and exclusively perform many cancer therapies, including radioembolization, chemoembolization, radiofrequency ablation , microwave ablation and cryoablation.

Definition
Interventional radiologists use imaging to perform minimally invasive procedures and treatments.


Procedures Performed and Conditions Treated: 

Cancer Therapies & Interventional Oncology

  • Tumor embolization – cancer-killing medication injected through a catheter to block or reduce blood flow to cancer cells
  • Chemoembolization – anti-cancer drugs injected into the blood vessel supplying blood to a cancerous tumor. An agent placed inside the blood vessels traps the chemotherapy in the tumor
  • Radioembolization – tiny glass or resin beads with a radioactive isotope are placed in blood vessels that feed a tumor to destroy it
  • Radiofrequency, microwave and cyroablation – special needles placed inside tumors produce extreme heat or cold to destroy or damage cancer cells  
  • Chest and chemotherapy ports – devices that are implanted below the skin to give medications, blood transfusions and fluids through a vein 
  • Pleural or peritoneal catheterization – drainage tubes are implanted to relieve chest or abdomen fluid buildup

Venous Access & Treatments

  • Catheters – long, thin, tubes that are inserted to give medications through a vein
  • Inferior Vena vena Cava cava (IVC ) filter removal and replacement – devices that are implanted below the kidneys to capture blood clots before they reach the lungs
  • Stenting 
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformation embolization (PAVM) – special devices are inserted to close abnormal lung artery and vein connections to prevent stroke-causing clots
  • Vascular malformations 
  • Dialysis fistula treatments – balloon angioplasty and stenting of the vascular connection of an artery and a vein is performed to preserve dialysis access

Women’s Health Procedures

  • Fibroid embolization 
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome embolization – special devices are inserted to close widened pelvic veins that tend to accumulate blood
  • Varicose vein ablation

Arterial Interventions

  • Arteriogram – contrast dye is injected through thin tubes inserted into arteries to identify diseased arteries and guide treatment
  • Renal artery stenting – re-opening a blocked renal artery to restore blood flow to the kidneys
  • Artery embolization – devices and other agents are used to close arteries
  • Femoral pseudoaneurysm treatment – a procedure to close abnormal blood flow outside of a blood vessel

Body Interventions

  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) – X-rays guide connection of the portal vein to the hepatic vein in the liver. A stent is placed to maintain the opening and allow blood to drain from the bowel to the heart while avoiding the liver
  • Transjugular liver biopsy – a biopsy needle is guided to veins inside the liver, where tissue is then taken and examined for abnormal cells
  • Image-guided organ biopsies – using CT scans, ultrasound or X-ray images as a guide, doctors place a thin needle at the spot where a piece of tissue will be taken and then examined for abnormal cells
  • Gastrostomy or gastrojejunostomy – feeding tubes leading to or bypassing the stomach are inserted through tiny holes made through the skin
  • Biliary catheters and stents – drains are placed into the liver to re-open passages and allow bile to drain from liver cells to the small intestine
  • Fluid drainage – using CT scans, ultrasound or X-ray images as a guide, doctors insert needles to collect fluids or air in the body
  • Nephroureteral stents – a thin tube is inserted into the kidneys and ureter to treat urine flow obstructions

Interventional Pain & Spine Procedures

  • Joint injections
  • Vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty – cement is injected into spine fractures to alleviate pain
  • Epidural spine injections – irritated nerve roots are injected with steroids to eliminate back pain that radiates to the legs
  • Pelvic injections – injections given to treat chronic pelvic pain
  • Lumbar puncture/spinal tap – X-rays guide a needle into the spinal canal to collect fluid for tests