Interventional Radiology

Through interventional radiology, Centura Health combines imaging with tiny tubes (catheters) to deliver targeted treatments without open surgery. We can deliver medication, open blockages, resolve aneurysms, destroy tumors, collect biopsies, diagnose infections and more.

With advanced technology and highly skilled experts, Centura Health can deliver many targeted therapies without the need for open surgery. Conditions that previously required surgery can be treated by interventional radiologists with less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery. Whether you need an immediate intervention due to a stroke or cardiac emergency, or a scheduled procedure, our interventional radiologists and staff can provide the necessary procedure or consultation.

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Find an interventional radiologist

Our expert team of interventional radiologists works closely with you during your procedure and follow-up care.

What is interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology uses advanced imaging to navigate tiny tubes (catheters) through the arteries to reach specific areas of the body, without open surgery. Once the catheters are in place, our board-certified interventional radiologists can deliver medication, open blockages, resolve aneurysms, destroy tumors, collect biopsies, diagnose infections and more. Drawing on their vast diagnostic and clinical experience, interventional radiologists use the least invasive method possible to treat the source of the disease internally.

Potential benefits of interventional radiology treatments include:

  • Small or no incisions
  • Same-day procedures, allowing you to quickly resume daily activities
  • High-tech imaging equipment, providing accurate diagnosis and treatment
  • General anesthesia is often not required

What is the difference between an interventional radiologist and a traditional radiologist?

A traditional “diagnostic” radiologist uses imaging devices to rule out or uncover a problem, and then turns his or her findings over to another specialist. An interventional radiologist is trained to treat most of the diseases discovered through imaging. As the treating doctor, the interventional radiologist works closely with you, explaining and performing the procedure, handling any unexpected events and providing follow-up care.

Interventional radiology procedures

Our interventional radiology facilities are staffed and equipped to provide a wide range of interventional procedures to diagnose and treat certain cancers, vein disease, women’s health issues such as uterine fibroids and more. Learn more about these procedures.

  • Arterial Disease Procedures

    • Angioplasty A tiny balloon is placed in the blood vessel at the site of a blockage. It is then inflated to open the blood vessel.
    • Embolization - When an artery needs to be closed, special materials are injected that form a blockage (embolism) and cut off the blood supply to a specific area of the body.
    • Stent placement - A tiny metal cylinder, or stent, is inserted in a clogged vessel to act like a scaffolding and hold it open.
    • Stent-grafts - A stent covered with synthetic fabric is inserted into the blood vessels to bypass diseased arteries.
  • Cancer-Related Procedures

    • Image-guided biopsies - Using a type of imaging called CT fluoroscopy, needle is advanced into the smallest of masses to obtain tissue or cells needed to make a diagnosis.
    • Port catheters - Using ultrasound and X-ray guidance, a port is placed through a small incision in your chest to provide the central venous access your oncologist needs to administer medications.

    Liver Cancer

    • Arterial embolization - Micron-sized particles with or without chemotherapy can be injected into the arteries, stopping blood supply to the tumor. This is most often performed for liver masses, such as hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic disease to the liver.
    • Chemoembolization - During chemoembolization, chemotherapy drugs attached to small beads are injected into the artery that supplies blood to the tumor in the liver. This deprives the tumor of oxygen, delivers highly concentrated drugs directly to the tumor and allows the drug to stay longer in the tumor than standard chemotherapy. Side effects may also be less than standard chemotherapy because drugs are retained in the liver instead of circulating throughout the body.
    • Cryoablation - Tumor ablation is the application of heat or intense cold to cause the death of tumor cells. With cryoablation, cold is used. These procedures are done through a small incision often with sedation and local anesthesia. Using a needle that freezes the surrounding tissues, we can kill kidney, liver, lung and bone tumors.
    • Microwave and radiofrequency ablation - Tumor ablation is the application of heat or intense cold to cause the death of tumor cells. With microwave or radiofrequency ablation, heat is used. These procedures are done through a small incision often with sedation and local anesthesia. Using a needle that freezes the surrounding tissues, we can kill kidney, liver, lung and bone tumors.
    • Radioembolization - This minimally invasive procedure combines embolization and radiation therapy to treat liver tumors. The procedure is very similar to chemoembolization, but instead of blocking the artery to the liver or administration of chemotherapy, tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. Once these microspheres become lodged at the tumor site, they deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor, but not to normal tissues, causing tumor death. 
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis Procedures

    • IVC filter placement and removal An IVC filter is a metal umbrella-like device implanted in the inferior vena cava that’s designed to allow the passage of normal blood flow to the heart but prevent dangerous blood clots from traveling from leg veins to the lungs.
    • Lysis therapy - Clot-dissolving drugs are delivered directly to a clot in the deep veins of the legs through a catheter for rapid symptom relief.
  • Gynecological Procedures

    • Embolization and sclerosis for chronic pelvic pain For women who experience debilitating pain related to pelvic congestion syndrome (which involves refluxing, dilated veins in the pelvis), embolization (blocking) and sclerosis (closing) of these veins can help relieve symptoms.
    • Uterine fibroid embolization - In this procedure, blood supply to the fibroid tumors is blocked, making them shrink and alleviating symptoms. As an alternative to hysterectomy, uterine artery embolization preserves a woman’s uterus, maintains her hormonal cycles and requires less recovery time. During uterine artery embolization, a catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the leg and guided by X-rays into the blood vessels that feed the fibroids of the uterus. Small bead-like particles are injected to stop blood flow to the fibroids. Once blood flow to the fibroids is cut off, they shrink gradually over the next weeks and months.
  • Kidney Disease Procedures

    • Hemodialysis access Tunneled (long-term) and non-tunneled (short-term) catheters can be placed for people undergoing dialysis. If you have an arteriovenous fistula for dialysis and are having difficulties using it during dialysis or it has clotted off, we’re able to restore adequate flow within the fistula.
  • Nutrition and Feeding Tubes

    • Enteral access If you need nutrition through a gastrostomy tube that goes directly into your stomach, the tube can be placed using image guidance under moderate conscious sedation.
  • Spinal Procedures

    • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty If you have had a vertebrae compression fracture that isn’t responding to medical therapy, kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be an option. Using X-ray guidance, cement is carefully injected through a needle into your fractured bone to stabilize it.
  • Urological Procedures

    • Gonadal vein embolization - Varicoceles, enlarged veins in the scrotum (the pouch that holds the testicles), develop over time and can lead to low-sperm quality, infertility and pain. Varicocele embolization is usually performed on an outpatient basis under sedation and local anesthesia. A small catheter is inserted into a leg vein near the hip or neck vein through a tiny skin incision. This tube is placed into the gonadal vein supplying the varicocele under X-ray guidance. Small coils or other materials are inserted in the vein to block it and stop the backflow in the varicocele. Blood can still exit the testicle through other normal pathways.