In many cases, interventional radiologists can open blocked or narrowed blood vessels caused by peripheral arterial disease or other conditions. In some patients, high blood pressure is caused by a blockage to the artery to the kidney, a condition known as renal vascular hypertension. Interventional radiologists can often treat blocked blood vessels without surgery. In most cases, hospitalization and general anesthesia are not required. There is no incision — just a small nick in the skin — and no stitches are required. Often, patients may return to normal activity shortly after the procedure.
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During angioplasty, the interventional radiologist inserts a very small balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel through a small incision. The catheter is threaded under X-ray guidance to the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to open the artery. A small metal scaffold/tube, called a stent, is sometimes inserted to hold the blood vessel open.
Thrombolytic therapy is used if the blockage in an artery is caused by a blood clot. Thrombolytic drugs that dissolve clots are injected through a catheter to eliminate the clot and restore the blood flow.
The most common interventional procedures are listed below, with links to patient information sheets:
- Breast needle localization
- Ethanol ablation
- Microwave ablation
- Radiofrequency ablation - lung, liver or renal (kidney)
- Uterine fibroid embolization
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.