Interventional radiology is a branch of medicine that uses image guidance to operate on patients from the inside, but without using surgery. Joining guest host Gina Tuttle for this program is Dr. Torrance Andrews, an interventional radiologist at the University of Washington Medical Center. Dr. Andrews explains exactly how this technique works and how it can be used to treat varicose veins, fibroids, lungs, intestines and aneurysms in the brain.
First, Dr. Andrews discusses varicose veins and varicose ulcers, which are more serious than simple cosmetic problems. He describes different treatment options, and explains in detail what he is able to do with endovascular laser ablation, or ELA, giving insight into what to expect with this minimally-invasive procedure that works by heating the vein from the inside. Dr. Andrews then explains what a fibroid is, and why fibroid embolization might be considered as an alternative to a hysterectomy for some women. Finally, he discusses how interventional radiology can be used to treat high blood pressure, brain aneurysms and the liver, and takes questions from callers about this new and exciting treatment.
A typical example of interventional radiology would be someone who has a blocked blood vessel going to some part of the body. Rather than having an open operation to replace that segment, the doctor will put a small catheter in through the artery and then use a balloon to open up the blockage. Dr. Andrews describes what he does: “What we do basically is to operate on a patient from the inside. We use CT, MRI, ultrasound, various imaging modalities to guide our catheters into an appropriate location, and then we fix whatever is wrong from the inside rather than having to make a large incision and come from the outside.” Listen to this webcast to find out more about these minimally-invasive procedures, and why they might be the right choice for you.
R. Torrance Andrews, M.D.
Interventional Radiologist, Harborview Medical CenterDr. Torrance Andrews is Associate Professor, Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and Director of Endovascular Therapy at the University of Washington. Dr. Andrews is board certified in diagnostic radiology. more >