What is interventional radiology for the abdomen?
At MedStar Health, our team of highly trained interventional radiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating cancerous and non-cancerous conditions in the abdomen using minimally invasive techniques.
Interventional radiology is a minimally invasive diagnostic and treatment option for patients experiencing pain or disease in the abdomen. Our expert physicians are able to diagnose and treat abdominal and pelvic conditions using advanced imaging techniques, such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), that guides and delivers treatment through a thin tube, or catheter, inside the body.
Interventional radiology for the abdomen may be used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors in the abdomen and pelvis, as well as diseases of the following systems:
Digestive/gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, colon, gallbladder, large and small intestines, liver, pancreas, and stomach)
Female reproductive tract (cervix, ovaries, and uterus)
Male reproductive tract (penis, prostate, and testes)
Urinary system (bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra)
Our interventional radiologists are also skilled at finding ways to minimize your discomfort and risk, while working to provide relief for a variety of symptoms in the abdomen, including:
In addition, we’re able to provide nutritional support via feeding tubes for patients who have difficulty swallowing due to advanced cancers or neurological disorders, such as dementia.
Compared to open surgery, patients who undergo interventional radiology for conditions in the abdomen experience less pain and quicker recovery times, since most procedures require only a tiny incision. In fact, many of our patients are able to return home the same day they receive treatment.
Interventional radiology for the abdomen treatments
From image-guided biopsies and fluid drainages to targeted treatment for your abdominal disease, our interventional radiologists are trained to use minimally invasive techniques and equipment to ensure you receive effective and safe treatment.
Learn more about the abdominal interventional radiology treatment options offered at MedStar Health below.
An abdominal biopsy can help to diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of an abdominal disease. As a minimally invasive procedure, your interventional radiologist will remove tissue samples from the body using a needle under the guidance of advanced imaging with minimal pain and risk.
If you’re experiencing an infected collection of fluid in the body called an abscess, it’s important to have it drained before the infection spreads throughout your body. During an outpatient procedure, an interventional radiologist can use a thin tube to drain the infected fluid with less pain and risk than surgical drainage.
Celiac plexus blocks
If pancreatic cancer or another abdominal disease is causing you severe abdominal pain, you may benefit from a celiac plexus block, which can provide pain relief when the celiac plexus nerves are injured. Through a minimally invasive injection, we can help you control your pain so you can get back to doing the things you enjoy.
Feeding tube placement
When you’re affected by certain head and neck cancers or a neurological disorder, you may find it difficult to eat without choking or pain. Difficulty swallowing is called dysphagia and may result in malnutrition, weight loss, and dehydration. To ensure you receive the nutrients and medications you need, an interventional radiologist may perform a feeding tube placement.
Splenic artery embolization
When your spleen becomes enlarged as a result of liver disease, blood cancers, or trauma, our interventional radiologists are skilled at performing splenic artery embolization. This minimally invasive procedure is an effective alternative to a splenectomy (open surgery to remove all or part of the spleen) since we’re able to preserve your spleen.
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