Interventional Procedures

The interventional radiology experts practicing at Detroit Medical Center are part of a team of physicians that combines advanced imaging techniques with minimally invasive, targeted procedures to diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases without surgery.

The minimally invasive procedures performed at DMC typically have less risk, less pain and shorter recovery times than open surgery. General anesthesia is usually not required. Many vascular and non-vascular procedures that were previously performed with open surgery are now performed in a state-of-the-art Interventional Radiology suite — usually on an outpatient basis.

Interventional radiologists do more than just perform procedures — they are part of an experienced healthcare team that cares for patients with extensive pre-procedure exams and post-procedure follow ups. These physicians often conduct important research and train other physicians in the latest interventional radiology techniques.

Vascular Interventions

Vascular interventions are minimally invasive, interventional radiology procedures performed inside the blood vessels of the body.

Angiography

An x-ray imaging procedure which is used to diagnose blockages and other problems in arteries and veins, physicians use a catheter to inject a contrast agent (x-ray dye) to render selected blood vessels visible by x-ray. A variety of specialized procedures can be performed using angiography to treat diseases of the vascular system.

Balloon Angioplasty

Balloon angioplasty opens blocked or narrowed blood vessels. Using a catheter, the interventional radiologist inserts a very small balloon into the blood vessel and inflates it. It can be used to unblock arteries in the legs, arms, kidneys, brain and other parts of the body.

Embolization 

Using a catheter and imaging technology, the physician delivers clotting agents (coils, plastic particles, gel, foam or glue) directly to the blood vessel. The technique is used to stop bleeding vessels and also to block the flow of blood to problem areas such as bleeding aneurysms, tumors and arteriovenous malformations.

Endovascular Stents

Small, flexible tubes made of metal wire mesh, stents can be inserted into blood vessels and positioned to hold open clogged or narrowed areas. One type, known as a stent-graft procedure, reinforces a ruptured or ballooning section of an artery (aneurysm) with a small, fabric-wrapped stent. Other endovascular stenting procedures include peripheral endovascular stenting and aortic stent grafts. Aortic stent graft procedures are performed in conjunction with a vascular surgeon.

Laser Vein Ablation

With Laser Vein Ablation, the physician inserts a tiny catheter and laser fiber into a blood vessel. The physician then locates the varicose veins and uses a laser inside the veins to deliver energy to the appropriate tissue. This causes the vein to close and the patient's body automatically reroutes blood to other, healthier veins.

Renal Artery Angioplasty

Renal Artery Angioplasty is a form of balloon angioplasty that is used to open blocked renal arteries. Improvement in renal function and high blood pressure following renal artery angioplasty are equivalent to surgical therapy.

Thrombolysis

Using a catheter and imaging technology, the physician locates a blood clot in a vessel and injects clot-dissolving drugs directly to the site of the clot.

Tumor Ablation

Using radiofrequency (RF) energy and imaging technology, the interventional radiologist can locate and destroy cancerous tumors without open surgery.

Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine Artery Embolization is a minimally invasive treatment for uterine fibroids. An alternative to hysterectomy, it cuts off the blood supply to uterine fibroids, causing them to shrink. This usually reduces symptoms caused by the fibroids.

Vena Cava Filters

Tiny filters inserted into blood vessels to prevent lung blood clots, usually made of a stainless steel alloy or an alloy of nickel and titanium. They are positioned in a large vein to prevent clots from reaching the heart or lungs.

Non-vascular Interventions

Non-vascular interventions are minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures that do not involve blood vessels. The physician uses imaging technology to guide instruments inside the body without open surgery.

Abscess/Fluid Drainage

Ultrasound and CT scans can guide catheter (tube) placement to drain abscesses and other fluid collections. Imaging technology is also used for biopsies of deep tumors in the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

Biliary Drainage

In this procedure, the physician uses a stent (a small tube) to open blocked bile ducts. This allows bile to drain from the liver and relieves jaundice. Click here for a brochure about Biliary Drainage Services at DMC.

Feeding Tubes

Interventional radiologists are often called to place feeding tubes in patients who cannot eat or swallow due to stroke, head injury or head and neck tumors. With imaging guidance, a small needle is inserted through the skin of the abdomen and guides a catheter into the patient's stomach or small intestine. With the catheter in place, physicians are able to provide life-sustaining nourishment and medications.

Regional Oncology Therapy

Using a catheter and guidewire, Rradiofrequency (RF) energy can be directed to a cancerous tumor. This technique is often used in the treatment of liver, lung and bone tumors, and can result in reduced complications and hospital stay. It can be used alone as a cancer therapy or to minimize bleeding in combination with other interventional radiology procedures.

Urinary Interventions

Physicians use imaging technology to guide a catheter into the appropriate position to drain or bypass a urinary tract obstruction. Once in the proper position, ureteral stenting or stone removal can be performed through the catheter.

Vertebral Compression Fractures

Vertebroplasty is extremely effective in reducing or eliminating pain caused by spinal fractures. It is performed using imaging guidance by interventional radiologists. The procedure stabilizes the collapsed vertebra with the injection of medical-grade bone cement into the collapsed vertebra. The procedure often provides substantial pain relief and is an excellent alternative to surgical and conventional medical therapy.