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Interventional Radiology

More Information About Interventional Radiology

The field of interventional radiology includes a wide range of procedures to treat and diagnose diseases. For these procedures, an interventional radiologist – a physician who has received advanced training in this field – and other medical staff use x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan and other imaging technologies to view a patient’s internal systems.

The images are used to guide the insertion of small catheters and other instruments through blood vessels or pathways in the body for the diagnosis or treatment of certain health conditions. Interventional radiology procedures often involve only small skin incisions and are typically less painful and result in quicker recovery times than more invasive procedures.

Where are Interventional Radiology Procedures Performed?
MultiCare Medical Imaging provides interventional radiology services at Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, Allenmore Hospital, MultiCare Auburn Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.
Why is it Done?
Interventional radiology procedures are performed for a wide range of reasons.

A few common interventional radiology procedures include:

  • Angiography is performed to find blockages or narrowing of vessels. Often, blockages can be treated through other interventional radiology procedures, such as angioplasty.
  • Embolization is performed to stop heavy bleeding or hemorrhaging. This is achieved by inserting a substance through a catheter into a blood vessel.
  • Stent placement is performed to open up a blockage. A small coil - called a stent - is inserted inside a blood vessel and then expanded at the point of blockage.
  • Needle biopsy is performed to help diagnosis a condition through the analysis of tissue biopsy. Imaging technologies guide the insertion of a small needle to obtain the tissue biopsy.

Find more information about interventional radiology procedures.

What to Expect
Each interventional radiology procedure is different. Your procedure will be explained to you in advance. You may also be given instructions to prepare for your appointment, such as eating and drinking restrictions.

Please feel free to ask any questions of the medical staff before your procedure begins.

The nurse or technologist will ask you questions before you have your procedure. It is very important to tell the nurse or technologist if you:

  • Are allergic to any medicines
  • Are currently taking any medications- especially any blood thinners, such as Coumadin, Plaxix, Aspirin, ect.
  • Are or might be pregnant
  • Have any other health conditions
  • Wear any medication patches
  • Need an interpreter. MultiCare will provide an interpreter specialized in medical terminology for patients who are not proficient in English. Unfortunately, family members of patients can not be interpreters.
How to Prepare
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your procedure, including where to check in, eating and drinking restrictions before your appointment and what medications to take prior to your arrival. You will not be able to drive yourself home after you procedure. Please make arrangements for a driver.

Most interventional procedures require a short stay admission; the length of time will depend on whether sedation or anesthesia is involved and the nature of the procedure.

The radiologist or physician assistant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. Family members will need to wait in our designated waiting rooms, allowing the provider to focus on your care.

For your safety and the safety of your children, please make arrangements for someone to care for your children during your scheduled appointment time.

To schedule an appointment or to obtain more information, contact Interventional Radiology at 253-403-3836.