The different diseases and conditions wherein interventional radiology is used:
- Narrowing of arteries
- If the arteries seem to be narrow because of blockages or infection, interventional radiologists can treat it. They use balloons to stretch the vessel (balloon angioplasty, PTA) and in some cases, even small metal springs called stents to hold them open. Additionally, these experts can resolve a minor clot by busting drugs directly into the artery via small catheters, thus saving many limbs.
- Aneurysms or a bubble can occur in the aorta, brain, back of the knee, intestine or spleen leading to internal bleeding or stroke. Especially if the aneurysm is ruptured. It can even be fatal or paralysing. IR treat these by relining the vessel with a tube called a stent graft.
Haemorrhage means bleeding in simple terms, especially heavy bleeding because of an injury. In this, the blood escaped from the circulatory system via damaged blood vessels. IR helps treat this using minimally invasive surgery, and it is the most common vascular emergency treated by this department.
- Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary embolism is caused by one of the blood clots traveling from your lungs to other parts of the body, creating a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries. It might even travel to deep veins in the legs sometimes. Interventional radiologists offer a special treatment for this disease wherein they place devices to capture blood clots before they reach the lung preventing further damage.
- Dilated veins
When a blood vessel wall is weakened it is dilated causing varicose veins. They appear as clusters of blue or purple veins, and often have thin red capillaries known as spider veins around them. IR helps treat these with by blocking the vein by heat treatment or by the use of irritant drugs.
- Non vascular intervention
Interventional oncology, also known as, non-vascular intervention, is ideal to treat pre-cancerous as well as benign conditions. IR therapies are used for the following:
- To treat tumours, ablations, embolization, and cancers
- To stop the cancer from spreading on other systems
- To collections fluid or pus in the chest or abdomen
- To place feeding tubes i.e. gastrostomy, jejunostomy
- To treat vertebroplasty or collapsed spinal bones
- Kidney stones
While filtering the waste from the body, sometimes hard deposits of minerals and acid salts are deposited. This is known as kidney stones. They can be painful when passing through the urinary tract and may cause minor infections too. Interventional radiotherapy uses techniques like placing a tube in the kidney (nephrostomy) to allow the urine to drain and removing the stones too.
Solid particles that form from bile cholesterol and bilirubin can be deposited in the gallbladder leading to gallstones. Interventional radiologists remove these by placing catheter tubes through the liver.