Aneurysm Embolization and Stent Placement

Vascular embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat aneurysms that are at risk for rupture and bleeding. Using X-ray guidance, interventional radiologists navigate a catheter, or tiny tube, through the arteries to the aneurysm. The abnormal aneurysm is then filled with small metal coils blocking blood flow to the aneurysm and preventing the risk of rupture. In some cases, depending on the location of the aneurysm, a graft is used to create an internal bridge for blood flow, depressurizing the aneurysm and also preventing the risk of rupture.

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Benefits:

  • Less risk than conventional surgery
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Angioplasty

Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat vascular blockage(s) or narrowing and improve blood flow. Under X-ray guidance, interventional radiologists thread a catheter, or tiny wire, through a blood vessel to make necessary repairs. The physician may choose to inflate a balloon within the artery, shave away the material (atherectomy) causing the blockage or narrowing, or place a stent (metal device) in the artery to hold it open. A newer technology is drug-coated balloon angioplasty, which is useful in preventing a blockage from returning.

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Amputation Prevention Program Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and other vascular problems are often at high risk for amputation. Our vascular experts are committed to providing alternative treatment plans whenever possible. Our amputation prevention program offers dedicated care and innovative therapies to improve blood flow to your limbs, giving you the best chance at avoiding amputation.

Benefits:

  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Aortic Aneurysm Endograft Repair

Aortic Endograft Repair is a minimally invasive procedure often used to treat aortic aneurysms. Interventional radiologists insert endografts (stents covered with impermeable fabric) through a small puncture in the thigh. Under live X-ray guidance, the endografts are positioned to create an internal conduit, or bridge, for blood flow, thereby depressurizing the aneurysm and eliminating the risk of rupture.

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Benefits:

  • Less risk than conventional surgery
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Chemoembolization

Chemoembolization is a minimally invasive treatment for liver cancer. Using X-ray guidance, a small catheter is advanced into the blood vessels that are supplying the cancer; then, interventional radiologists deliver a highly concentrated dose of cancer-killing chemotherapy drugs directly to the tumor and embolize (block) the vessel with tiny particles. Chemoembolization has proven an effective treatment for both primary liver cancer (tumors that originate in the liver) and metastatic cancer (tumors that have spread to the liver from other cancer sites).

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Benefits:

  • The particles shut off blood supply to the tumor, depriving it of nutrients and oxygen.
  • The chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly to the cancer and trapped there inside the tumor, making the effective dosage up to hundreds of times stronger than if it were administered through an IV or port.
  • Most of the chemotherapy drugs stay within the liver, decreasing circulation throughout the body and reducing systemic side effects.
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Cryoablation

Cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure that kills cancerous tissue by freezing it. Under CT or ultrasound guidance, interventional radiologists inserts a cryoprobe (thin needle) directly into the tumor. The needle is then filled with gas to rapidly freeze the tissue. Afterward, the tissue is allowed to thaw. This freezing and thawing cycle is repeated several times to ensure a frozen area beyond the tumor's edges and, subsequently, death of the entire tumor.

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Benefits:

  • Proven to relieve pain and other symptoms caused by cancer in the kidney or other organs
  • Beneficial for kidney, liver and lung cancers when surgery is not an option
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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DVT Therapy

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the body's major deep veins (typically in the legs or pelvis), leading to blockage of circulation. The result is pain, swelling, and risk of serious health complications, like pulmonary embolism (PE), which occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs. Interventional radiologists are able to remove clots and restore blood flow through DVT thrombectomy therapy, typically in a single setting. Performed through an incision the size of a pencil eraser, DVT therapy can prevent Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS).

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Benefits:

  • High success rate
  • Low risk of complications
  • Can effectively open veins that have been blocked for several years, due to Chronic DVT and/or Post Thrombotic Syndrome
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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IVC Filters

Many DVT patients are at risk for pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially life threatening event that can occur when a blood clot moves to the lungs. To prevent PE, interventional radiologists can place IVC filters (tiny umbrella-shaped metal devices) inside the affected vein to catch blood clots before they travel to the lungs. Many IVC filters are intended for temporary use, but can also be left in place if necessary. Interventional radiologists can safely remove IVC filters—even those that have been present for many years.

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Benefits:

  • High rate of success to decrease risk of PE in patients who are unable to undergo conventional anti-coagulation therapy.

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Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty

When compression fractures result in significant pain, physicians generally treat this medical condition with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Both are minimally invasive, image-guided procedures that utilize bone cement to create internal casts. KYPHOPLASTY involves placement of a balloon device into the fractured vertebra, which creates space for the internal cast of cement. VERTEBROPLASTY also utilizes X-ray fluoroscopy guidance, enabling radiologists to inject medical bone cement directly into the injured bone.

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Benefits:

  • Pain relief within hours of these procedures
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time
  • Both procedures take just an hour or two to complete
  • Both can be outpatient procedures

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Microwave Ablation

Under CT or ultrasound guidance, interventional radiologists use microwave ablation (MWA) to advance a microwave antenna directly into a tumor. The microwave energy causes rapid rotation and agitation of water molecules to create friction and heat, resulting in tumor cell death. MWA offers advantages over other thermoablative devices, including the ability to create a larger ablation zone in a shorter period of time. MWA can be used to treat primary and metastatic liver cancers, kidney and adrenal tumors, and primary and secondary lung malignancies. It is helpful in relieving symptoms and extending survival, and has proven an effective tool when used in conjunction with other cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, transarterial chemotherapy (TACE), radioembolization and surgical resection.

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Benefits:

  • Creates a large ablation zone in a short period of time
  • Effective in treating primary and metastatic liver cancers, kidney and adrenal tumors, primary and secondary lung malignancies, and bone metastases
  • Relieves symptoms and extends survival
  • Highly effective when used in conjunction with other cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, transarterial chemotherapy (TACE), radioembolization, and surgical removal

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Pelvic Venous Embolization

Pelvic congestion syndrome results from pelvic venous insufficiency (PVI), where the pelvic veins become enlarged (similar to varicose veins that are common in the lower legs). With PVI, pelvic varicose veins bulge and stretch, spurring chronic pelvic pain and a sensation of heaviness in the lower pelvis. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is treated with pelvic embolization, an outpatient procedure that closes off blood supply to the failing veins and redirects blood flow to normally functioning veins in the pelvis.

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Benefits:

  • Improvement or resolution of initial presenting symptoms within a few weeks
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Prostatic Artery Embolization

Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostates. Safe and effective, this outpatient procedure offers a shorter recovery and fewer complications than traditional surgery. It's performed by an interventional radiologist, who uses image guidance to thread a catheter through a tiny puncture in the wrist or groin to access blood vessels on each side of the enlarged prostate gland. The radiologist then uses small beads to block the blood flow to the prostate, which causes the prostate to shrink and relieves or improves symptoms, often within days to weeks of the procedure. It takes about two hours and requires only moderate or local anesthesia. Patients can return home the same day.

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Benefits:

  • Outpatient (no overnight hospital stay)
  • Improvement or resolution of symptoms within days to weeks
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time
  • No urinary catheter placement required
  • Doesn't exclude patients from future potential prostatic treatments
  • Less than 0.5% chance of major complication
  • Low risk of sexual side effects

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Radioembolization

Like chemoembolization, interventional radiologists use radioembolization to deliver targeted treatments directly to liver tumors. The difference is that radioembolization treats tumors with radiation instead of chemotherapy drugs. Radioactive microspheres block the blood supply to the tumor while delivering targeted radiation directly to the tumor.

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SIR-Spheres. This form of radioembolization uses resin microspheres containing the radioactive isotope Yttrium-90 to treat liver tumors.

Benefits:

  • High dose radiation beads are delivered directly to the cancer through the blood supply

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Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that kills tumor cells using heat from radiofrequency energy. An interventional radiologist advances an ablation needle through a tiny skin access site. Using CT or ultrasound guidance, the physician advances the needle to the tumor; heat from radiofrequency energy ultimately "cooks" the tumor and destroys the cancer cells.

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Benefits:

  • Effective in treating kidney, lung and both primary and metastatic liver cancers
  • Relieves symptoms
  • Extends survival
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Uterine Fibroid Embolization

UFE is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat uterine fibroids. Under image guidance, interventional radiologists use a small catheter to release tiny particles into the uterine arteries, blocking blood supply to the fibroids. This causes the fibroid to shrink and offers relief from symptoms. UFE is a welcome alternative to surgeries like hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) and myomectomy (surgical removal of individual fibroids).

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Benefits:

  • 95% of patients report significant or total relief
  • Fast recovery: light activities 3 days, normal routine 7 - 10 days
  • Recurrences are rare
  • Covered by most major insurance providers
  • Minimal chance of complications to the uterus
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Varicocele Embolization

Varicocele Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to shut off the blood supply in a varicocele. An interventional radiologist uses X-ray imaging to guide a small catheter to the abnormal vein. Contrast dye is injected into the vein to visualize all pathways leading to the varicocele; then, the affected veins or "pathways" are permanently closed, and blood is redirected to normal venous channels.

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Benefits:

  • Outpatient procedure
  • ~90% success rate
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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Vascular Malformation Treatment

While some malformations can be treated surgically, often times they can return if the malformation is not removed entirely. Many vascular malformations can be treated through minimally invasive procedures. Interventional radiologists are able to embolize and shut off blood flow to the malformation. Charlotte Radiology's interventional radiologists and the vascular anomalies team at Levine Children's Hospital work together to diagnose, triage and provide treatment plans for many patients with simple to complex vascular malformations.

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Benefits:

  • High success rate
  • Comprehensive care, including interventional radiology, pediatrics, hematology & oncology, plastic surgery and pediatric surgery
  • Minimally invasive and less traumatic to the body, reducing infection rates and recovery time

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