Interventional radiology uses radiological tools — such as X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI — to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.
At the Interventional Radiology Clinic at Children’s, the common procedures we use include:
BiopsyA biopsy is when we remove a small tissue sample from the body so we can further examine it in a laboratory for signs of disease.
Oftentimes, biopsies are used to look for cancerous cells. However, they can also be valuable for other medical conditions, such as assessing the condition of a kidney in a child who has kidney failure or examining how well a new liver is functioning in a child who has had a transplant.
CyroablationCryoablation uses intense cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue. It can be used to destroy cancer cells and to treat several types of skin conditions, such as skin tags.
Drainage CathetersDrainage catheters are small tubes that are inserted into the body to help drain buildups of excess fluid. At Children’s, the catheters we typically place include:
- Abscess drains, which remove infected fluid collection
- Nephrostomy tubes, which remove urine from the kidney
- Percutaneous transhepatic biliary catheters, which remove a buildup of bile (fluid made by the liver)
EmbolizationEmbolization is a procedure that controls bleeding by blocking blood flow to a certain part of the body. It is often used to treat aneurysms, cut off blood supply to tumors, and control or prevent abnormal bleeding.
Joint Injections and ArthrogramsJoint injections are injections of medication into a joint to decrease swelling and relieve pain. These injections are often used to treat pain in children with arthritis.
Arthrograms are medical images that we use to evaluate and diagnose conditions of the joints, and find out why your child is experiencing joint pain.
OstomyAn ostomy is a procedure to create an opening (stoma) that leads from an area inside to the body to the outside, in order to change the way stool or urine leave the body. It’s used to treat certain types of urinary and digestive diseases, and may be either temporary or permanent.
Children’s performs several types of ostomies, including primary gastrostomy (inserting a feeding tube), gastrojejunostomy (creating a tube that goes into part of the small intestine), and cecostomy (emptying your child’s bowels).
Portal Venography and Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) PlacementVenography is a special type of X-ray exam. During venography, your child will be injected with a contrast material that shows us how blood is moving through their veins. This procedure is commonly used to help us find blood clots or assess the veins before surgery or dialysis.
Portal venography looks at the portal vein, which is the main vein in the portal venous system — the system which drains blood from the digestive system to the liver. If your child has increased pressure in their portal vein (portal hypertension), they may need a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS).
During a TIPS procedure, the radiologist will insert a shunt that connects the portal vein to a hepatic vein (one of the three veins that bring blood from the liver back to the heart). This allows blood to bypass the liver, making blood flow more easily and decreasing portal vein pressure.
Radiofrequency AblationRadiofrequency ablation is typically used for managing chronic pain. The procedure involves using an electric current to heat the area of nerve tissue in order to stop it from sending the signals that cause your child’s pain.
Radiofrequency ablation can also be used to treat abnormal electrical signals in the heart and to destroy cancerous cells.
SclerotherapySclerotherapy is often used to improve the appearance of varicose veins (twisted, enlarged veins) and spider veins (smaller versions of varicose veins). It can also relieve symptoms that are associated with varicose and spider veins, like aching, burning, cramping, and swelling.
During sclerotherapy, a solution is injected directly into your child’s varicose or spider veins. The solution causes the lining of the vein to swell and stick together. Blood is rerouted through healthier veins. Over time, the varicose or spider veins turn into scar tissue and fade from view.
Thrombectomy and Venous RecanalizationA thrombectomy is used to remove a blood clot. A special medication or medical device is delivered directly to the blood clot via X-ray imaging and a catheter (thin, flexible tube), causing the clot to dissolve.
Venous recanalization breaks down clots that are located in veins in the pelvis or legs to stop them from traveling to the heart and lungs.
What To Do Next
For Referring Providers
The Physicians’ Priority Line is your 24-hour link to pediatric specialists at Children’s for referrals, emergency and urgent consults, physician-to-physician consults, admissions, and transport services. Call 855-850-KIDS (5437).
Learn more about referring patients.