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Angiography/Interventional Radiology

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Angiography/Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology is the subspecialty of Radiology that uses imaging equipment to guide the physician in carrying out a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure on a patient. Fluoroscopy (an X-ray which is taken and projected on a monitor in real time), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT scanning), and more recently, MRI scanning, can be used to guide physicians allowing them to carry out a great variety of procedures which in the past, would have required surgery. Needle biopsies and the placement of small tubes (catheters) to drain abscesses, blocked kidneys or bile ducts, are examples of what is done in the Interventional Radiology area.
 
Angiography is the process of taking pictures of the blood vessels in the body. A small catheter (about as thick as a piece of spaghetti) is placed into a blood vessel (usually through a puncture made at the groin) and contrast material (X-ray dye) is injected through this to allow one to see the blood vessel and assess for any abnormalities. The angiography unit at PRHC enables us to study virtually any blood vessel in the body (outside of the heart; cardiac angiography is done in the cardiac cath lab). Most angiograms at PRHC are done to assist our surgeons in assessment of patients with vascular diseases in order to plan their therapy.
 
In some cases, balloon angioplasty (using a catheter with a balloon on the end of it) can be used to stretch a narrowed or blocked blood vessel. A metal stent may be placed inside the blood vessel to help keep it open. Catheters can also be used to block blood vessels by passing a variety of materials through them into the blood vessel. This can be done to stop bleeding from an injured blood vessel, or to stop blood flow to a tumour, for example.
 
Most of the procedures done in the Interventional Radiology area are done on an outpatient basis, through an incision in the skin that measures less than a quarter inch in diameter. The alternative to most of these preocedures is surgery.
 
The Angiography/Interventional Radiology section at PRHC is one of the busiest of its size in the province. The unit is staffed by radiology technologists and nurses, all specially trained, as well as radiologists.


Contact
Phone: 705-876-5039

Hours
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Related Links

American College of Radiology/Radiology Society of North America
Canadian Association of Radiologists

Society Of Interventional Radiology

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