Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology (IR) is an important part of modern patient care. IR doctors are specialists who perform minimally invasive procedures to help diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. These minimally invasive procedures are performed through tiny nicks in the skin, which often are no larger than a pinhole. Through these tiny nicks, IR doctors use imaging technology to help guide them in using advanced tools within the patient’s body. These imaging technologies include x-rays, ultrasound, and computed tomography (CT).

Compared to traditional “open” surgery, IR procedures have less risk, cause less pain, and have a shorter recovery time. In fact, most of these procedures allow the patient to go home the same day. An additional benefit of this minimally invasive approach is that most patients can comfortably have these procedures with sedation, which avoids the risks associated with general anesthesia. IR doctors receive at least six years of additional training after medical school in order to utilize the latest techniques and technology in tailoring a specific treatment plan for each patient.

Why UAB

The UAB Medicine Interventional Radiology team includes nationally and internationally recognized IR physicians, along with physician assistants, who strive to make excellence in patient care their highest priority. The IR physicians at UAB are actively involved in research to promote and advance patient care. As such, patients may be invited to participate in clinical trials, providing access to potentially life-saving techniques and treatments not yet available at other medical centers. Furthermore, the IR Clinic at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital is the area’s only outpatient IR clinic. This dedicated space gives patients an opportunity to sit with one of UAB Medicine’s IR experts to discuss their treatment options, undergo a thorough pre-procedure evaluation, and receive dedicated post-procedure follow-up care.

Each of the IR physicians at UAB Medicine is highly skilled, fellowship-trained, and board-certified by the American Board of Radiology. They are proud to offer patients a variety of minimally invasive treatment options for conditions such as:

 

Other conditions treated:

  • Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement and removal
  • Painful spinal compression fractures
  • Chronic joint pain
  • Pain
  • Portal hypertension
  • Vascular malformations
  • Pulmonary arterio-venous malformation
  • Varicoceles
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome
  • Chronic pelvic pain in females
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Urinary obstruction
  • Abscess drainage
  • Feeding tubes
  • Vascular access for hemodialysis or long-term infusions
  • Vascular access for chemotherapy
The most complex IR procedures take place in one of our dedicated angiography suites in UAB Hospital, all of which feature the latest and most advanced imaging technology. Some procedures, including central venous catheters, can be performed at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital.

Speak to your physician about a referral to the UAB Interventional Radiology Clinic, or to schedule an appointment without a physician referral, please call UAB HealthFinder at 1-800-934-9999.
 

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Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts in the bone. There are several types of bone cancer, but the most common is called osteosarcoma. It usually affects patients under 30 but can occur at any age. Osteosarcoma can begin in any bone, but it is more often seen in the longer bones of the arms and legs, or the pelvic bones. Osteosarcoma normally is treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. There are other types of bone cancers, like chondrosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma. Other cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma start in the bone marrow but are referred to as blood cell cancers.

Other cancerous masses, known as soft tissue sarcomas, can develop in the soft tissue of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, joints, and tissues that connect the body together. There are many types of soft tissue sarcomas, but they are rare. They tend to occur in the arms, legs, chest, and abdomen but can develop in any area of the body. Soft tissue sarcomas are most common in patients age 30-70, though certain types can affect younger adults and even children. They usually are treated with a combination of surgery and radiation, and sometimes chemotherapy. Cancer that has spread (metastasized) from other parts of the body to the bone usually is treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.

Tumors in the musculoskeletal system are much more likely to be benign (non-cancerous). Primary bone cancer, or cancer that begins within a bone, is rare. It is more common for a tumor to spread from another area of the body to the musculoskeletal system.


CLINICAL TRIALS

UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials