Interventional Radiology is dedicated to the development and application of imaging to guide minimally invasive techniques utilized in diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions. Interventional radiologists were the originators of balloon angioplasty and vascular stent procedures. The field has rapidly evolved from its vascular origins to include the management of “inoperable” malignancies and to provide therapeutic options to patients too debilitated to undergo more traditional surgical procedures for a range of diseases.
Interventional radiologists support the most cutting-edge therapies offered at Cleveland Clinic. Organ transplantation, thoracic surgery and hepato-biliary surgery have developed in lockstep with image-guided techniques for the management of issues that arise during surgery. Interventional techniques are commonly used to help patients until they are able to receive an organ transplant or to treat significant complications after surgery. Moreover, a wide spectrum of vascular, gastrointestinal and genitourinary diagnostic and interventional procedures is performed in state-of-the-art laboratories. Examples include uterine fibroid removal, clot removal, management of infection or fluid collection, and placement of central lines.
Members of this section work closely with other departments and attend to all aspects of a patient’s condition while he or she is in their care. Support staff, such as nurse practitioners, helps ensure this integration.
The section has the latest imaging technology and is adept at using multimodality technology capable of performing more than one function at a time. Due to cooperative arrangements with leading corporations, the staff often has access to new technology before it is widely available. In part because of these arrangements, clinical trials being conducted elsewhere are available to Cleveland Clinic patients as well.
Interventional Radiology performs more than 9,500 procedures annually. The section consists of 10 full-time specialists and approximately 30 ancillary and support personnel on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Additionally, the section supports six Cleveland Clinic hospitals and one ambulatory surgical center.
Education is a high priority for the staff, which is actively involved in training Cleveland Clinic’s radiology residents. The section also offers three one-year fellowships to provide subspecialized training to future interventional specialists.
Members perform original clinical and pre-clinical research in state-of-the-art facilities and participate in multicenter national and international studies. They have served as Principal Investigators in studies of novel therapies, including magnetically targetable drug therapies for liver and lung tumors. Current projects involve the application of advanced imaging techniques to improve the delivery and targeting of therapies.
National organizations in which members are involved include the Society for Interventional Radiology, the Radiological Society of North America and the American College of Radiology.
Mark Sands, MD
Head, Section of Interventional Radiology