Posts Tagged ‘Interventional radiology’

Interventional Radiology

Interventional RadiologyOperations can be scary to even think about. While operations are effective at solving problems, many people tend to prefer a less invasive method of treatment. That’s where interventional radiology comes into play. 

Using their expert skills, interventional radiologists use x-rays, ultrasounds, and other medical imaging to guide small instruments — such as catheters — through blood vessels or other pathways in order to treat disease through the skin. This method is far less invasive and less costly. Of course, this method of treatment is still effective.

There are many uses for interventional radiology, and we will cover a few of them here.

Angiography: An X-ray exam of the arteries and veins to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems.

Chemoembolization: This method delivers cancer-fighting agents directly to the tumor.

Gastrostomy Tube: For people who are unable to eat through their mouth, this gastrostomy tube is inserted into the stomach instead.

Needle Biopsy: The needle biopsy is an alternative to a surgical biopsy and is a diagnostic test for various cancers, such as breast and lung cancer. 

Stent: Stents are tubular supports and are generally inserted into a blood vessel, duct, or canal in order to help the healing process or fix an obstruction.

Thrombolysis: A blood-clot killer, the thrombolysis injects drugs at the site of the clot, which then dissolves the clot.

These are just a few of the ways interventional radiology works to help make your treatment even easier. Of course, there are other methods that benefit from interventional radiology as well; this is a sample of what radiologists can do with this technology.

At Peninsula Radiology, we are pleased to be able to provide interventional radiology at our Riverside Regional Medical Center location. If you are interested in any of these procedures, please schedule an appointment by calling (757) 989-8830. We look forward to seeing you!

What is Interventional Radiology

interventional radiologyInterventional Radiology (IR) is a medical subspecialty of radiology using minimally invasive image guided procedures. IR allows doctors to diagnose and treat diseases in almost every organ system in the body. This concept enables interventional radiologists to reduce risk to patients and lessen recovery time as compared to open surgery.

Interventional radiologists (IRs) use their expertise in reading X-raysultrasound and other medical images to guide small instruments such as catheters through the blood vessels or other pathways to treat disease through the skin. These procedures are typically much less invasive and much less costly than traditional surgery.

Body Systems Treated by Interventional Radiology

The range of diseases and organs responsive to image guided therapeutic and diagnostic procedures are broadly scoped and constantly changing. Some of these diseases or disorders are related to:

  • Vascular System
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Hepatobiliary System
  • Genitourinary System
  • Pulmonary System
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Central Nervous System

Uses of Guided Imaging

As part of the IR practice, interventional radiologists collaborate with other physicians providing patient evaluation and management related to image guided interventions. Many minimally invasive image guided procedures performed by IR have replaced major surgical procedures including:

  • tissue biopsy
  • drainage of fluid collection
  • pain management with steroid injections
  • cyst removal or ablation
  • placement of gastrostomy tube

Peninsula Radiology Associates Interventional Radiologists

Our team of accomplished physicians have a wide range of subspecialty, fellowship trained expertise, which allows them to provide our patients with outstanding care. Our group is committed to creating and maintaining the highest standards, which continue to surpass the expectations of our patients and our referring doctors. If you have any questions about Interventional Radiology please call (757) 989-8830.

Dr. Newsome attends Society of Interventional Radiology’s 38th Scientific Meeting

interventional radiology society




Dr. Janice Newsome attended Society of Interventional Radiology’s 38th Scientific Meeting. This five-day conference was held in New Orleans and provided a wonderful opportunity for radiologist to develop professional. Nearly 5,300 physicians, scientists and allied health professionals improving patient care through image-guided therapy.

The theme of this year’s meeting is “IR Reaching Out”, and some of the topics featured in the conference include:

  • Treating enlarged prostates
  • Using stents that dispense medicine
  • Freezing cancer treatment technologies
  • Helping dialysis patients

We are proud to announce that Dr. Janice Newsome was selected as the featured speaker to discuss the future of Interventional Radiology”.  In addition, Dr. Newsome spoke to Nurse practitioners and technologist about the importance of safety in radiology. She covered  “15 shades of grey”, which featured the 15 worst cases in interventional radiology.

Interventional radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. They use X-ray, MRI and other imaging to advance a catheter in the body, such as in an artery, to treat at the source of the disease internally.

The goal of Society of Interventional Radiology‘s is to promote the high-quality practice of interventional radiology. By attending the conference, Dr. Newsome received latest information in basic and clinical research; experienced techniques and technologies utilized by interventional radiologists around the world; saw the latest equipment used in interventional radiology; and discussed social, political and economic issues important to the IR community.


“What if I don’t want to undergo surgery?”

By John Armentrout

I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Newsome for several years now.  I remember a particular patient I was allowed to observe during a consultation sessions.  Mrs. Abernathy was a young lady who was here to discuss her riverside sign and possible treatment options with Dr. Newsome.

“What if I don’t want to undergo surgery?”  These were the first words spoken to me by Mrs. Abernathy – who was here for an Interventional Radiology (IR) consult with Dr. Newsome.  She was here to discuss her uterine fibroids – a cyst like growth in her uterus.  She had seen her OB/GYN about a month earlier for painful cramping, heavy bleeding during her menstruation, and a general “full” feeling a few days prior to menstruating until it was over.  She said these feelings had been going on for some time, but over the last few months she decided to see if anything could be done.  A MRI scan was preformed, and that is how her gynecologist discovered the fibroids.  The treatment he recommended was to have a radical hysterectomy – removal of her uterus and the fibroid tissues.  Mrs. Abernathy was here to discuss the possibility of another treatment option she had read about, called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (or UFE).

Dr. Newsome is one of our Interventional Radiologists.  She specializes in less invasive treatments for many issues.  In Mrs. Abernathy’s case a UFE, a minimally invasive procedure where we use special long thin tubes called catheters to direct material that will cut off blood flow to the cyst tissues (the fibroids).  This can in many cases be done without surgery.  Dr. Newsome reviewed the MRI scans to determine the size of the fibroids.  For the best outcomes there are a few guidelines our doctors must follow with regard to size, location (in the cavity or space of the uterus, in the muscle or the wall that forms it, or if it is located outside – basically in the abdominal cavity), and density – how “thick” the cyst tissue itself is.

Dr. Newsome and Mrs. Abernathy then proceeded to discuss the procedure itself.  In most cases it requires an overnight visit.  The procedure takes anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, usually about 1.5 hours.  Mrs. Abernathy would come in to the main hospital and be admitted for the UFE.  Dr. Newsome took about 45 minutes to explain the entire process that Mrs. Abernathy would undergo in the hospital if she chose to have the uterine fibroid embolization procedure preformed.

If she chose to proceed then Dr. Newsome explained  how her visit would go.  On the day of the procedure, Mrs. Abernathy would come into the front of the main hospital.  The admitting staff would take her to an outpatient unit where they would complete all her paperwork, start an IV (for fluids and relaxing medication in the procedure room), and have her change into a hospital gown.  The Interventional Radiology (IR) department staff would bring Mrs. Abernathy to their pre procedure area and review all her paperwork, double check her medications, review the procedure with her and answer any questions.  Once everything was ready, they would go in the procedure room.

Once in the procedure room the IR staff will connect various monitoring equipment – blood pressure, oxygen (how well she is breathing), and EKG (or heart rhythm).  One of the groin areas will be shaved and washed with a surgical soap.  Then Mrs. Abernathy will be covered with a large blue “blanket” (sterile surgical drape).  Then Dr. Newsome and the IR staff will then put on their protective equipment (hats, masks, and sterile gowns) to reduce the likelihood of any infections occurring.

Dr. Newsome explained how the staff will administer “conscious sedation” – or relaxing medication that will make Mrs. Abernathy sleepy.  While not like the operating room – where the anesthesia doctors would put her to sleep, this medication is similar to what is given for a colonoscopy – a “twilight” medicine that makes you sleepy and forgetful for about an hour or two.  Once the medication has taken effect, Dr. Newsome will then proceed to numb the groin area she plans to insert a small IV tube (called a sheath) – like the IV for fluids in the hand.  Once this sheath is in place, there is very little additional discomfort in the groin area.  Using X-ray (similar to a chest X-ray) Dr. Newsome will advance a long thin straw-like tube called a catheter to the blood vessel that feeds the uterus.  Using special x-ray dye, Dr. Newsome images the blood flow to the fibroid tissue.

Once the blood vessel that feeds the fibroid is discovered, Dr. Newsome is able to utilize special materials that allow her to specifically target and prevent blood flow to this area.  The idea is not to remove the fibroid tissue, but to cut off the blood supply to it.  This in turn will cause the tissue to starve and shrink in size.  This in many cases reduces and sometimes completely reverses the symptoms like the ones Mrs. Abernathy was experiencing.  The cramping and full sensations, and heavy flow she was experiencing, in many cases, is due to the fibroid tissue ‘pushing’ on the walls of the uterus – filling the space it occupies, like taking a rubber balloon and blowing it up.  It is still the same rubber glove, there is just more ‘inside’ of it causing it to expand.  When the cyst tissues shrink down, it is like letting the air out of the balloon — allowing it to return to its normal shape and size.

Mrs. Abernathy was quite excited by what she had heard and the less invasive approach.  Dr. Newsome did caution her that many times patients experienced pain and discomfort the same day of the procedure.  That is why an overnight stay is required.  Having experience in performing many hundreds of these, Dr. Newsome found keeping her patients on pain medication overnight reduced the likelihood of extreme discomfort and resulted in better outcomes for her patients.  Mrs. Abernathy thanked Dr. Newsome for all the information and said she would talk with her gynecologist about this exciting alternative procedure.  But, as she said when she came in “I don’t want to undergo surgery!”