Interventional Radiology

354 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, CA, 92024
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Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas
354 Santa Fe Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024 US 33.0377 -117.284
    Visiting Hours
    • 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    • Visiting hours may be adjusted based on the patient's needs or wishes.
    Emergency Services
    • The ER is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Interventional radiology (IR) treats diseases without open surgery by using small catheters or needles that are guided with advanced imaging technology. IR procedures offer a number of benefits over surgery, including a faster recovery time and less pain and risk.

How it works

Interventional radiologists use imaging technology to guide them through minimally invasive procedures, using small tubes (catheters) and needles introduced through small holes in the skin. They use X-ray guidance to direct the instruments precisely.

What to expect

In most cases, interventional radiologic procedures can be treated on an outpatient basis, but some procedures may require a short hospital stay. With interventional radiology procedures, you receive local anesthesia with intravenous sedation rather than general anesthesia, making the chances of cardiac, respiratory and other complications less likely. Often, you can resume normal activities within a few days.

Available procedures

Interventional radiology procedures available at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas include:

  • Angiography/angioplastyAngiography, or an angiogram, is an X-ray of your arteries and veins. A catheter is inserted into the arteries, which are filled with a contrast medium (a special dye to make the veins visible on the X-ray). Angiograms are most often used to diagnose blockage or narrowing in the blood vessel(s). With angioplasty, a catheter with an attached balloon device is inserted into the blocked coronary artery to expand the artery to allow normal blood flow.
  • Aortic stent grafts – An aortic stent graft, or endograft, is used to treat aortic aneurysms. Aortic aneurysms occur in the weak areas of the aortic blood vessel, the main conduit of blood between the heart and the rest of the body. The aortic stent graft is used to treat the abdominal aneurysm, one of the more common aortic aneurysms. A stent is inserted into the abdominal aortic aneurysm and once the stent is placed securely, it stays with the aneurysm to prevent future rupture.
  • Spinal surgery or vertebroplasty – Percutaneous vertebroplasty is an effective therapeutic, stabilizing and preventive treatment for back pain and progressive loss of height in compression fractures. The spine is made up of stacked bony structures called vertebral bodies, interspaced with gelatinous discs. A needle is passed into the vertebral body to inject a cement mixture of a special bone glue, barium powder (to make it visible on the X-ray) and antibiotic. The cement hardens rapidly and supports the weakened bone.
  • treatment – A lifesaving emergency treatment known as thrombolytic therapy, delivered through a catheter, can dissolve a blood clot and restore blood flow to the brain, but it must be administered within three hours of the start of the stroke.
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) – A minimally invasive procedure that relieves symptoms by blocking the blood supply to fibroids and causing them to shrink. UFE is a safe, effective and proven treatment option for symptomatic fibroids.