Image-Guided Biopsies

Image-guided biopsies are done to learn more about a lesion or mass and can be performed almost anywhere in the body, but are most often used for the lymph nodes, lungs, kidney and liver. These procedures usually require only light sedation and can often be performed within 30 minutes to an hour.


Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty are procedures that use a special cement to help set acutely fractured bones in the vertebral column which can quickly relieve back pain caused by these fractures. An interventional radiologist inserts a small needle through the skin and back muscles into the bone using fluoroscopic x-ray imaging as a guide. The physician then injects the cement while checking x-rays to ensure its placement.

Nephrostomy Placement

When kidneys are healthy, they filter blood by removing waste and producing urine, which is excreted from the body through a ureter into the bladder. When there is a blockage in one or both of the body’s ureters, urine cannot leave the body as intended. Interventional radiologists place nephrostomy tubes to help drain the buildup of urine and prevent the development of kidney-related complications such as hydronephrosis or swelling of the kidneys. This is done at the request of the patient's urologist.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) 

Uterine fibroid embolization is a method for treating fibroid tumors of the uterus. Fibroid tumors, also known as myomas, are masses of fibrous and muscle tissue in the uterine wall which are benign but may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the pelvic region, or pressure on the bladder or bowel. With methods similar to those used in heart catheterization, a tiny catheter is placed in each of the two uterine arteries and small particles are injected to block the arterial branches that supply blood to the fibroids. The fibroid tissue dies, the masses shrink, and in most cases symptoms are relieved. Uterine fibroid embolization is much less invasive than open surgery done to remove uterine fibroids.

Interventional Oncology

Interventional radiology is an essential component in the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancers. The interventional radiologist can provide therapies in addition to systemic chemotherapy, targeted radiation or surgery, that are designed to eliminate or shrink a tumor in place of, or in conjunction with, surgery or radiation. Interventional radiologists use minimally invasive, image-guided techniques to treat tumors in the liver, kidney and other organs; provide relief for cancer-related complications, such as organ obstruction; manage and reduce pain; and place ports and access devices to deliver medications. Therapies and procedures include tumor ablation, a method of delivering radiofrequency energy to eliminate tumor cells; port insertion and removal; and embolization, a procedure that eliminates blood flow to the tumor to eradicate it or to help reduce blood loss during surgery; and others.

Venous Disease

Interventional radiologists use minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat diseases of the veins, including abnormal connections between arteries and veins in the lungs, abnormally functioning veins in the legs, and blood clots in the legs and lungs.

Endovenous Ablation for Varicose Veins 

Varicose veins are enlarged superficial veins of the legs, which can cause pain, leg fatigue, skin changes and ulceration. Endovenous ablation is a procedure that closes enlarged veins just below the skin of the leg and redirects the venous blood into the deeper veins of the leg and back towards the heart. The procedure is performed in about an hour and only requires a local anesthetic. Prior to the availability to this procedure, vein stripping surgery was performed and required a hospital stay. Today, patients are encouraged to walk and perform light activity the same or next day.>

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that results when a blood clot forms in a deep vein of the legs, arms or other veins. If left untreated, DVT can cause a pulmonary embolism (PE), which occurs when the blood clot breaks free from the vein and moves to the lungs, blocking circulation. If left untreated, a large DVT can also lead to Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS), which can result in chronic debilitating leg pain, swelling, and a feeling of heaviness.

DVT can often be treated using blood thinning medication, but in cases where a patient’s physician does not recommend this approach, interventional radiologists can insert a small filter in the inferior vena cava, called an IVC filter. This works by allowing blood to flow through the filter, catching the clot before it travels to the lungs. 

For patients who are very symptomatic or have large clots, interventional radiologists can perform a minimally-invasive procedure called DVT thrombolysis. This therapy involves inserting a small catheter into the leg using imaging for guidance, and slowly administering powerful medicine into the clot which helps it dissolve. During the procedure, the radiologist may uncover areas of narrowing in the vein that caused the blood clot to form. The interventional radiologist can then treat this through angioplasty (widening the vein) or by inserting a stent to keep the vein open.

IVC Filter Removal

Interventional radiologists remove inferior vena cava (IVC) filters when they are no longer needed to filter dangerous blood clots. The FDA recommends that all IVC filters be removed when they are no longer needed. Additionally, an IVC filter may need to be removed if it is causing discomfort. In these cases, our interventional radiologists used a special retrieval procedure pioneered at Penn Medicine. 

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is often referred to as the “hardening of the arteries.” It is also sometimes called peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PAD is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis, which is a gradual progression in which “plaque” is formed due to cholesterol and scar tissue build up. Interventional radiologists can treat PAD a number of ways, including angioplasty with the inflation of small balloons inside the artery, stent placement to prop open the narrowed vessel, or with thrombolysis using powerful clot dissolving medications.

Penn Interventional Radiology at Chester County Hospital

As part of one of the largest interventional radiology programs in the country, Penn Interventional Radiology at Chester County Hospital is committed to offering patients personalized and compassionate care. Our care team consists of board-certified interventional radiologists, radiology technologists and registered nurses who have extensive and diverse expertise encompassing a broad spectrum of procedures.

To speak with an Interventional Radiologist, for additional information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 610-431-5030.

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