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Health Matters: Interventional radiology

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Dr. Sima Banerjee talked to 18 News about interventional radiology, a minimally invasive, image-guided diagnosis and treatment of disease.

“We use imaging to guide us to treat different diseases in the body,” said Dr. Banerjee. 

The range of procedures Guthrie can perform with interventional radiology include biopsies, drainages, varicose vein treatments, and benign and malignant diseases.

“For example, your appendix ruptures,” said Dr. Banerjee, “you get an abscess, you don’t want to have surgery.  We put a drain in and that helps the pus come out and the infection heal over.”

The same would work for diverticulitis.

“Sometimes you present to the hospital very sick with diverticulitis, your surgeon sees you, but doesn’t feel you’re fit for surgery,” said Dr. Banerjee, “and we come in and we put a drain in.  It helps the infection resolve and you get home quicker and back to work and school and whatever you need to be doing.”

Interventional radiologists treat both cancerous and non-cancerous conditions.

“Some of the cancerous diseases that we treat include tumors in the liver and tumors in the kidney,” said Dr. Banerjee.  “We can freeze or burn tumors.  We can put chemoembolization treatment directly into tumors and the liver, or radioactive therapy right into the tumor in the liver so that you don’t suffer the systemic side effects of treatment.”

Embolization is the introduction of a substance to block vessels in order to arrest blood supply to a tumor or mass.

Minimally invasive procedures allow most patients to return to normal activity faster.  Most of the interventional radiology Guthrie performs takes place at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital, but they do see patients and do some procedures at Guthrie Corning Hospital.

For more information, visit Guthrie.org.

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