Interventional radiology: Minimally invasive procedures offered at Columbus Community Hospital
The health care industry is constantly changing. From treatment to technology, improvements are always being made in the way physicians provide care to patients. One innovative medical field that offers a less invasive diagnostic option for patients is interventional radiology or IR, which is currently offered at Columbus Community Hospital.
“Interventional radiology uses tools such as ultrasounds, computerized tomography (CT) scans and mammography equipment to perform image-guided procedures such as biopsies, drainages, injections and aspirations,” said Dr. Anthony Krueger, radiologist with CCH’s North Central Radiology.
These procedures are less invasive than previous methods and offer very little risk to patients, according to Krueger. IR also reduces cost, recovery time and pain for patients who would otherwise need traditional open surgery. Because of this, it has become the primary way to treat many types of conditions.
For example, one procedure that is completed using IR is an image-guided breast biopsy, where radiologists remove a tissue sample from the breast for further examination. During this procedure, radiologists numb an area of the breast and use a real-time image to guide a needle into the breast to remove a sample.
“We make a tiny hole in their skin,” Krueger explained. “Stitches are not needed and most patients leave with a Band-Aid.”
IR also allows radiologists to offer interventions to help with pain. Dr. Matthew Pieper is also a radiologist with CCH’s North Central Radiology. He explained how IR is used to treat joint pain.
“We are able to use X-ray guidance to inject medications directly into the joint,” Dr. Pieper said. “This ensures maximum efficacy of the medication and ideally decreases side effects. This can allow people to delay or potentially avoid surgery.”
This procedure is most often used in the shoulder, knee or hip, but may also be helpful in other joints.
Overall, IR is changing the way people view radiology as a whole.
“Radiology professionals are typically seen as people who look at scans and diagnose things, but with this, we are using radiology to complete actual interventions and procedures to provide quicker and less painful options for patients in our community,” Krueger said.
For more information on CCH’s North Central Radiology or the treatments completed with interventional radiology, visit our page about North Central Radiology.