Vascular Interventional Radiology

Your vascular system, also called the circulatory system, is made up of vessels that carry blood and lymph through the body.

Vascular interventional radiology uses minimally invasive techniques with catheters, needles, and other devices, which are guided through these vessels to the treatment site.

View our Vascular Interventional Radiology Procedures page to learn more!

The vessels of the blood circulatory system are:

Arteries: Blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body.

Veins: Blood vessels that carry blood from the body back into the heart.

Capillaries: Tiny blood vessels between arteries and veins that distribute oxygen-rich blood to the body.


Vascular Interventional Radiology Procedures

Angiography/Venography - One of the most common reasons for angiograms is to see if there is a blockage or narrowing in a blood vessel that may interfere with the normal flow of blood through the body. In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat a blocked blood vessel without surgery at the same time the angiogram is performed. Interventional radiologists treat blockages with techniques called angioplasty and thrombolysis.

View our Vascular Interventional Radiology Procedures page to learn more!


Angioplasty/Stent

Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. These blood vessels are called the coronary arteries. A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery. A stent is often placed during or immediately after angioplasty. It helps prevent the artery from closing up again. A drug-eluting stent has medicine embedded in it that helps prevent the artery from closing in the long term.


Arteriovenous malformations (AVM) Embolization

AVMs are defects in your vascular system. The vascular system includes arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry blood away from the heart to other organs; veins carry blood back to the heart. Capillaries connect the arteries and veins. An AVM is a snarled tangle of arteries and veins. They are connected to each other, with no capillaries. That interferes with the blood circulation in an organ. In Embolization procedures, physicians use image guidance to fill AVMs with liquid embolic agents (similar to fast-sealing glue), thereby treating the presenting symptoms, and preventing new ones.

Photo of a brain

Photo inferior vena cava

IVC filter placement

An IVC filter traps large clot fragments and prevents them from traveling through the vena cava vein to the heart and lungs, where they could cause severe complications or even death.


Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation is an image-guided procedure that uses heat generated by radiofrequency or laser energy to seal off faulty vessels, diverting blood flow immediately to nearby healthy veins.

Photo of knee veins

Photo of PICC line near the heart.

PICC

A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is a long catheter that extends from an arm or leg vein into the largest vein (superior vena cava or inferior vena cava ) near the heart and typically provides central IV access for several weeks, but may remain in place for several months.