Healthcare Tips

The Different Types of Interventional Radiology Procedures


Technological advancement in the medical field has given rise to improved treatment methods, including interventional radiology. Compared to traditional or open surgery, interventional radiology procedures are less invasive and require shorter recovery periods. Interventional radiology offers diagnosis and treatment for different medical conditions, including uterine fibroids and cancer. If you live with any of these medical conditions, visit your Mesa, AZ, interventional radiologist for diagnosis and treatment.

Examples of interventional radiology procedures include:

Uterine Embolization

This is a non-invasive procedure used in the treatment of fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that occur in the uterine walls. If you have fibroids, you may experience symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. Extensive growths may cause bulging and result in swelling of the abdomen. During the process, your specialist may first administer anesthesia to reduce pain and make you relax. Your doctor then makes a small incision and inserts a catheter into one of your arteries. A contrast fluid is then injected to highlight the fibroids in your uterus.

Needle Biopsies

Needle biopsy is a procedure your doctor may recommend to obtain cell samples from different parts of your body for laboratory testing. During the process, your specialist may administer a local anesthetic to numb the skin area to be injected. Your specialist will then guide a fine or core needle through your skin to a specific area to obtain cells.

Radiofrequency Ablation

This procedure involves using radio waves to reduce pain in different body parts, including your hip joints, back, neck, and knees. Before the process, you may need to stop using various aspirin since it causes blood thinning. During treatment, your doctor may use a fluoroscope to act as a guide and ensure accuracy. You may experience discomfort in the form of pressure as your specialist inserts the needle. Pain relief may last for several months up to two years.


Your specialist may recommend this treatment method if you have cancer of the liver. During treatment, your doctor will place a catheter in the artery that supplies blood to the liver. Your doctor will then deliver chemotherapeutic drugs through the catheter. This causes blockage in the blood vessels that supply blood to the tumor. As a result, the growth becomes deprived of oxygen and dies. Complications such as infections and abscesses after treatment are rare.

Advantages of Interventional Radiology:

  • Processes involved are minimally invasive compared to traditional surgery.
  • There is little blood loss; therefore, you are at no risk of having low hemoglobin levels.
  • You will experience less pain since the incisions made are minor. No staples are used, and stitching is not necessary.
  • The chances of developing complications are low.
  • Interventional radiology procedures require a short recovery time.
  • The treatment methods are more effective because your specialist uses imaging technology to guide during the procedure for accuracy.
  • It is less expensive since it is performed on an outpatient basis.

Interventional procedures are safer options that your specialist may recommend in place for surgery. Reserve a session with your doctor at Southwest Cardiovascular Associates for a consultation to learn more about interventional radiology procedures.

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