Is Interventional Radiology Right for You?
Medical innovation moves forward at a rapid pace, with continuing technological advances and an ever-increasing understanding of health and the human body. Interventional Radiology may be one of the best examples of this phenomena.
Thanks to this highly specialized medical field, procedures that once required surgery, a hospital stay, and extensive recovery time are now being performed on an outpatient basis using minimally invasive techniques. In fact, most of the procedures are performed without an incision.
Interventional Radiology (IR) combines the use of advanced imaging such ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans and MRI to guide the treatment of a variety of conditions. Interventional Radiologists are board-certified physicians who are trained in both radiology and minimally invasive therapies. They treat conditions in virtually every organ system, including:
- Blood vessels
- Nervous system
- Reproductive system
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Urinary tract
- Cardiovascular disease
- Dialysis access
- Back pain
- Leg pain and swelling
Matthew Dicker, MD, is a Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist with Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. He emphasizes that a team approach delivers the best care for his patients.
“Taking care of each patient starts with our office staff and administrative staff at the hospital. A great group of nurses and technologists help before, during and after each procedure,” Dicker says. “And of course, collaboration with the hospitalists and vascular surgeons as well as primary care providers creates the best possible 360-degree care for the patients in our community.”
Dicker explains that Interventional Radiologists are consultants to virtually all of the specialties and subspecialties at YRMC, in addition to performing procedures specific to each.
“Having the expertise to perform these procedures and having the facilities and support staff to perform them is a great benefit to the Quad Cities,” says Dicker. “The hassle of driving to Phoenix or elsewhere is no longer necessary.”
As with the practice of medicine in general, Interventional Radiology continues to keep pace with ever-developing research and technology.
“New and different ways to treat disease are happening almost daily,” Dicker notes. “We strive to perform the newest treatments safer than before. For instance, opening blockages in the leg arteries is being performed with access through the ankle as opposed to the groin where it had been typically performed, which significantly decrease the risk of bleeding while having the same excellent results.”
“We are excited to introduce intravascular lithotripsy to break up plaque in the arteries that causes blockages,” he continues. “It uses the same technology that has been used for years to break up kidney stones.”
Interventional Radiology allows for a quicker recovery time, less pain, reduced cost and a lower risk of complications. If you are a candidate for surgery, talk to your healthcare provider to see if an Interventional Radiology procedure makes sense for you as an alternative.
“It is rewarding when a procedure is successful, a patient is happy with the results, and they are surprised that it was done without an incision with very little if any pain,” says Dicker.
To learn more about Imaging Services at Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center, visit DignityHealth.org/YRMC.