Interventional radiologists use imaging technologies to guide minimally invasive procedures for a wide array of medical conditions. The doctors insert thin, flexible tubes called catheters into your blood vessels to reach and treat the source of disease.
Experts in Minimally Invasive Treatments
When an interventional radiologist joins your multidisciplinary care team at UNC Medical Center, you benefit from a specialist’s skill in safely and effectively treating a wide range of medical conditions without surgery.
Because interventional procedures require very small or no incisions, you’ll have less pain and scarring, and recover more quickly compared with traditional surgical procedures. You also may be able to be treated as an outpatient.
Leading the Way in Interventional Oncology
When you seek cancer care at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at NC Cancer Hospital, your treatment may include the latest minimally invasive tumor therapies from our experienced interventional radiologists.
Interventional oncology can precisely target hard-to-treat cancers, including cancers of the liver, lungs, kidneys, bones and soft tissue. Our techniques can treat tumors that can’t be removed surgically, and the procedures often have fewer or reduced side effects compared with traditional cancer treatments.
Interventional Radiology Treatments & Services
Interventional radiology techniques can be used to treat a variety of conditions and nearly every part of the body. Our board certified radiologists work collaboratively with other specialists to provide the best care for you. Procedures we offer include:
- Ablation – Heats or freezes cells to destroy them; may be used to treat cancer, cardiovascular conditions, chronic pain and other conditions
o Cryoablation – Freezes tissue with liquid nitrogen or argon gas
o Laser ablation – Uses laser energy to close varicose veins
o Microwave ablation – Heats tissue with electromagnetic waves
o Radiofrequency ablation – Heats tissue with an electrical current produced by a radio wave
- Balloon angioplasty – Uses a tiny balloon to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels and improve blood flow
- Biopsy – Removes tissue to examine it for disease
o Stereotactic breast biopsy – Guides a needle to an abnormality seen on a mammogram
- Computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – Detects vascular conditions, heart conditions and occasionally cancer in a less invasive way than a traditional angiogram
- Dialysis maintenance – Fixes malfunctioning dialysis catheters, tubes, fistulas and shunts with same-day intervention for critical problems and on-site dialysis when the situation is corrected
- Embolization – Reduces blood flow to abnormal blood vessel areas or delivers medications to specific organs for treatment
o Chemoembolization – Injects anti-cancer drugs directly into the blood vessel that feeds a tumor; used mainly to treat liver cancer
o Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) – Destroys fibroids, non-cancerous growths in the muscular wall of the uterus, by blocking their blood supply
o Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) – Relieves symptoms of an enlarged prostate by temporarily stopping blood flow to the prostate
- Neurovascular interventions – Treats neurovascular conditions, including brain and spine disorders, using embolization, stenting and other interventional techniques
- TheraSphere® – Delivers radiation therapy directly to tumors in the liver
- Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty – Treats spine fractures by fusing bone fragments to strengthen the vertebra and provide pain relief; in kyphoplasty, a tiny balloon first raises collapsed vertebrae back into position
- Vascular stenting – Places a mesh tube called a stent in a blood vessel to help it stay open