PERIPHERAL & VASCULAR INTERVENTIONAL
Angiography is a diagnostic procedure in which a small catheter (thin flexible tubing) is placed in the blood vessel for the purpose of injecting contrast material (dye) to allow the blood vessels to show up on x-ray. An arteriogram is a type of angiogram in which the arteries are studied. A venogram is a type of angiogram in which the veins are studied.
Thrombolytic (fibrinolytic) Therapy
Thrombolytic (fibrinolytic) therapy is a treatment used to clear a blockage in a blood vessel that is caused by a blood clot. Thrombolytic drugs are delivered through a catheter placed during angiography for the purpose of dissolving the blood clot and restoring blood flow.
Angioplasty is used to open up narrowed blood vessels and thus improve blood flow to an area. A catheter with an inflatable balloon on the end is positioned across the narrowed portion of the blood vessel and inflated to dilate the narrowed vessel.
Stent placement is also sometimes used to improve blood flow to an area. A stent is a metallic, tubular-shaped device that is placed inside the narrowed blood vessel to act like a scaffolding to hold the vessel open.
Embolization involves injection or placement of materials through the catheter during angiography in order to block off or occlude the blood flow to an area. It is most commonly used to stop bleeding, but may also be used in the treatment of tumors.
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filters
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are devices that are placed in the major vein in the abdomen to prevent the passage of blood clots from the legs to the heart and lungs.
Central Venous Access
Central venous access procedures involve placement of a temporary or long-term catheter into the big veins inside the chest. These procedures include the placement of kidney dialysis catheters. They also include PICC lines which are a form of IV line that can remain in place much longer than a conventional IV drip. Placement of subcutaneous ports that can be used for chemotherapy administration are also included in this category.
TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) is a procedure used on patients with severe liver disease who have problems with bleeding or with excessive fluid in their abdomen. This procedure decreases the pressure within the venous system of the liver by diverting the blood flow in another direction.
Imaging-guided biopsies are done to obtain a sample of tissue from an area so that the pathologist (microscope doctor) can make a diagnosis from it. These biopsies are obtained through specially designed biopsy needles that are placed into the area of concern. These needle biopsies conducted with the assistance of imaging guidance are less invasive than a traditional surgical biopsy.
Abscess drainage procedures involve the placement of drainage catheters into an abscess, guided by imaging techniques.
Nephrostomy placement is the positioning of a catheter into the patient's kidney from the back. This is usually done to relieve an obstruction to the flow of urine from a tumor or some other source. Sometimes a nephrostomy is placed to allow access for removal of kidney stones.
Biliary drainage procedures are generally used to relieve an obstruction to the biliary ductal system of the liver by placing a drainage catheter or stent through the patient's side and into the liver.
Gastrostomy placement involves the positioning of a feeding tube directly through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. It is generally done for patients who will need long-term nutritional support and are not capable of maintaining their own nutritional needs orally.