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Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology (IR) is a branch of radiology that uses medical imaging and small tools to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions.

Interventional radiology procedures are called "minimally invasive" because, unlike traditional open surgery, they are performed through small incisions or cuts (usually less than 1 inch). In general, patients who have minimally invasive procedures have less pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries than patients who have traditional surgery.

When you have an interventional radiology procedure, an interventional radiologist (a specialty doctor who has completed extra training in interventional radiology) uses X-rays and other advanced imaging techniques to see inside your body. These images help the doctor guide small tools such as catheters, needles and stents to the areas that need treatment.

In recent years, interventional radiology has added to or replaced many former surgical procedures, helping to improve patient care, minimize inpatient stays and facilitate recovery.

Advanced Services

Advancing Cancer Care with Interventional Oncology

IR is at the forefront of novel cancer treatments, as interventional oncology (IO) is rapidly becoming a subspecialty of IR. In fact, at Temple Health, our faculty has developed specialized expertise in many facets of IO therapies. These include highly specialized embolization procedures to destroy tumors and stop bleeding as well as intricate direct ablation of tumors in the liver and throughout the body, including the kidneys, lungs, abdomen, and extremities. Our physicians are trained in microwave, radiofrequency ablations that precisely target and burn tumors as well as cryoablation to freeze these lesions.

Caring for cancer patients involves much more than performing the procedures. Our team is part of a full service program in which we work with patients from the time of consultation through all parts of treatment and follow up care. We are a multidisciplinary service working hand in hand with pulmonary, oncologic, surgical, hepatology and other specialists to provide state of the art therapies for our patients.

Specialized Experience for Patients with Liver Disease

Patients with liver disease require extensive care. When you are dealing with cirrhosis, hepatitis C, or additional end stage liver conditions, you may suffer life threatening consequences that range from variceal bleeding, to refractory ascites (fluid in the abdomen). Our skilled doctors have specific experience in treating these complications of liver disease with procedures that range from simple drainages of fluid and liver biopsies, to life saving procedures like Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) and Balloon-Occluded Retrograde Transvenous Obliteration (BRTO). Patients with liver cancer, whether it is primary or metastatic, can sometimes benefit from portal vein embolizations to destroy the damaged part of the liver and allow enlargement of the healthy liver.

Vein Services from Interventional Specialists

Interventional radiology is often called upon for our experience with vein services, including the placement of chemotherapy ports, dialysis access, plasmapheresis catheters, hickman lines, central lines and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).

When drainage of blocked kidneys or bile ducts occur, interventional radiologists insert percutaneous catheters to assist in recovery and reroute the obstruction.

Interventional Radiology for Pain Management

Temple’s interventional radiologists offer targeted pain management services, providing pain relief for many types of spine conditions ranging from herniated discs to joint pain. Using x-ray guidance, we are able to precisely target steroid injections, epidural injections, selective nerve root blocks, and joint and bursa injections throughout the body to help relieve pain. Our doctors also can perform percutaneous discectomy to relieve focal herniated disc symptoms as well as kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty for collapsed vertebra.

Providing Specialized Care at Multiple Locations

Our team is part of a larger radiology team that includes more than 40 board-certified radiologists and fellowship-trained interventional radiologists. As a group, we work to advance the field of minimally invasive, image-guided care and provide the highest quality care for our patients.

For your convenience, Temple interventional radiologists provide care at multiple Temple Health locations including Temple University Hospital, Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus and Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Find a doctor near you, schedule an appointment online or by calling 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536).