Why Minimally Invasive Procedures Are the Future of Medicine

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Minimally Invasive

Interventional radiology is essentially minimally-invasive image-guided surgery. Interventional radiologists are a unique set of clinicians. At Southwest Cardiovascular Associates, Kirk Minkus, MD, makes pinhole-sized incisions on the skin to reach various organs in the body to deliver targeted therapy.

All interventional radiology procedures involve the use of a needle puncture. There is no need for any cut, dissection, or sutures, meaning the procedures are minimally invasive.

With the needle, radiologists puncture the human body and then introduce a wire through the needle. Over this wire, the doctor will introduce various catheters, balloons, and specialized devices to reach up to the level of the disease or a given organ. Once the doctor gets to the target location, they will deliver a particular device or medication to treat the patient; interventional radiology is a therapeutic procedure.

Diseases That Use Interventional Radiology

There is no specialty in the hospital where interventional radiology does not have some involvement. Interventional radiologists do a host of procedures, operations are used to treat:


  •         Blocked arteries

Interventional radiologists can use balloon angioplasty to unblock blood vessels. If there is a block in a blood vessel due to atherosclerotic clot formation, a doctor will put a balloon at the clot site and then inflate the balloon. With the inflation of the balloon, the clot gets disrupted, and the lumen widens.

Occasionally, if there is a recoil happening at the site, the doctor will use a stent or a stent-graft, a metallic spring-like body with a piece of fabric. This device will help to open the lumen of the blood vessel, and the blood flow to the organ and the tissue will improve, which will enhance a patient’s medical condition.


  •         Internal bleeding

Similarly, if there are any bleeding conditions anywhere in the body, interventional radiologists would reach the site from the brain to the leg. With the help of a catheter and wire, they will inject some embolic agents, specialized coil materials that block a blood vessel to stop bleeding. Interventional radiologists perform this life-saving procedure.


  •         Uterine fibroids

If a female patient has a fibroid, an interventional radiologist will go into the uterine arteries and then block those blood vessels to reduce the blood supply to the fibroid.

Interventional radiology can also treat other conditions like:

  •         Venous problems
  •         Stroke
  •         Cancer
  •         Prostate problems
  •         Vertebral fractures

Image Guidance Used

Interventional radiologists use a selection of equipment, including:

  •         X-rays
  •         Ultrasounds
  •         CT scans
  •         MRI scans

How Interventional Radiology Differs From Conventional Surgery

  •         Often there is no general anesthetic involved, and most procedures require the patient to be under local anesthesia or light sedation.
  •         Interventional radiologists usually complete most of the procedures through minimal incisions than the ones done in open surgery.
  •         There are fewer reported complications after the procedure.
  •         Patients experience a shorter hospital stay because the recovery time is relatively quick.

Contact the offices of Southwest Cardiovascular Associates to find out what interventional radiology procedures they offer and find out if you can get help for your condition.

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