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Interventional Radiology

Procedures Replace Many Open Surgeries at Methodist

New interventional radiology procedures allow specially trained doctors to diagnose and treat a number of diseases that previously required open surgery. Patients who come to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge benefit in several ways:

  • Most interventional radiology procedures are performed on an outpatient basis or require a very short hospital stay.
  • General anesthesia is not usually necessary.
  • There is less risk and less pain
  • Recovery times are shorter, as compared to traditional surgery.

A wide range of interventional radiology procedures are performed at Methodist. Among them are:

  • Abcess drainage: Insertion of a small drain into an infected area, rather than performing open surgery
  • Arteriograms and venograms:  X-rays of arteries and veins to diagnose narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed blood vessels in many parts of the body
  • Balloon angioplasty: Insertion of a very small balloon into clogged blood vessels to remove the blockage
  • Biliary drainage and stenting: Opening of blocked ducts to allow bile to drain from the liver
  • Biopsies: Removal of cells from lungs, liver, kidneys, thyroid, lymph nodes, bones and soft tissue for examination by a pathologist on the Methodist staff
  • Chemoembolization: Delivery of cancer-fighting medications directly to cancerous tumors (primarily in cancers in the endocrine system and the liver)
  • Central venous access: Placement of a catheter into a large vein in the neck, chest or groin in order to give medications or fluids, obtain samples for blood tests, or obtain cardiovascular measurements 
  • Embolization: Delivery of clotting agents directly to areas that are bleeding or to block blood flow in problem areas such as aneurysms
  • Stents: Placement of a small flexible tube made of plastic or wire mesh, called a stent, to hold open blood vessels or other pathways in the body that have come narrow or blocked
  • Thrombolysis: Injections of clot-busting drugs to dissolve blood clots
  • Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS): Life-saving treatment to improve blood flow and prevent hemorrhage in patients with severe liver dysfunction.

Methodist’s Interventional Radiology Program Joins Elite Category

Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge has become one of the few hospitals in Tennessee to have a 100 percent certified interventional radiology team. Several team members have earned multiple specialized certifications. Interventional radiology procedures allow specially trained doctors to diagnose and treat a number of conditions that previously required open surgery. Among the procedures performed are biopsies, balloon angioplasty, treatment of certain aneurysms and blood clots, and placement of stents in narrowed blood vessels.