Vascular Interventional Radiology Procedures

Hemodialysis Endovascular Intervention

What is hemodialysis?

When your kidneys are no longer functioning properly, toxins and excess fluid build up in the body. Hemodialysis filters out the toxins and excess fluids while balancing electrolytes. This is done by connecting a dialysis machine to your blood vessels by vascular access. A common access is a fistula made by joining an artery and vein in your arm.

What is hemodialysis endovascular intervention?

Overtime, the fistula created to give vascular access for hemodialysis may become narrowed and stop working properly. An interventional radiologist can then directly insert a balloon device to widen the narrowed blood vessel. In rare cases, the fistula may start to narrow again and the interventional radiologist will insert a stent (metal mesh tube) into the fistula to keep the vessel permanently open.

Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Placement

What is the inferior vena cava (IVC)?

IVC is the large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart.

What is IVC filter placement and what are some common uses for the procedure?

Blood clots that form in the veins of the legs and pelvis (also called deep vein thrombosis) can break up and travel to the lungs and heart, which can cause a pulmonary embolism or blockage. An IVC filter (small metal device) is placed by an interventional radiologist using image guidance, which traps the fragments of the blood clots and prevents them from traveling to the lungs and heart. These filters can be permanent or removed later when the risk of the blood clot has diminished.

IVC filter placement is used for patients with a high risk of developing blood clots in the legs and for those who cannot be treated by traditional methods such as taking blood thinners.

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis

What is catheter-directed thrombolysis?

Thrombolysis is a minimally invasive procedure that treats vascular blockages by dissolving abnormal blood clots in blood vessels, which improves blood flow and prevents damage to tissue and organs. When there is a blockage in a blood vessel, blood will clot and become gel like. If not treated, the blood clot will continue to grow and cut off blood supply to parts of the body causing serious damage and potentially the loss of an organ or extremity. In a catheter-directed thrombolysis procedure, an interventional radiologist uses x-ray imaging to help guide medication or a device to the site of the blood clot.