NYM Offers Specialized Radiology Treatments

Sep 21, 2006

  September 21, 2006

New York Methodist Hospital Offers Specialized Radiology Treatments


Through the use of state-of-the-art equipment, specially trained radiologists at New York Methodist Hospital are using interventional radiology to perform minimally invasive procedures that diagnose, support and/or treat various life-threatening diseases.

Interventional radiology is increasingly used to diagnose and treat patients with cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States. "About half of all interventional radiology patients have some type of cancer whether it be liver, kidney, or bone," said Leonard Berliner, M.D., chief of interventional radiology. The technician uses computer-guided imagery to treat diseases percutaneously (through the skin), eliminating the need for large incisions.

Through a small opening, interventional radiologists are able to perform a variety of procedures, including angioplasty, the opening of a narrow or blocked blood vessel using a balloon or stent; drain insertions, the placement of tubes in different parts of the body to drain fluids; radiofrequency ablation, localized destruction of tissue through heating; and embolization, the blocking of abnormal blood vessels or organs to stop bleeding. "Using interventional radiology, we work closely with other departments such as surgery, oncology, obstetrics and gynecology and medicine. The Hospital is able to provide numerous therapeutic options for patients with life-threatening and chronic diseases," said Dr. Berliner.

Interventional radiology can diagnose cancer without surgical biopsy. Specialists in the technology are also able to deliver cancer treatment, called chemoembolization, directly to a patient''s tumor through the blood supply. "Through chemoembolization, we can offer cancer patients the chemotherapy they need without the toxicity that can normally affect the body," Dr. Berliner said. Interventional radiology is often used for patients with cancer when traditional chemotherapy and radiation have not proved effective.

"It is important that patients and their physicians know that there are other choices out there that, depending on the case, may be more effective than traditional surgery," said Ingrid Raphael-Henry, R.N., who assists Dr. Berliner with the procedures. Interventional radiology is generally easier for patients because it involves less risk and pain and offers shorter recovery times. "For many elderly sick patients, undergoing a surgical procedure can be very taxing on both the body and mind," said Steven Garner, chairman of radiology at NYM. With interventional radiology, procedures are done on an outpatient basis and general anesthesia is not required. "Patients benefit not only from our state-of-the-art radiology equipment, but also from our strong, multidisciplinary team approach, which offers support from diagnosis to recovery," said Dr. Garner.

a couple of surgeons performing surgery
Interventional radiology procedures are used to save and prolong the lives of patients with various life-threatening illnesses. Pictured from left, Chrissy Wilson, R.T., Leonard Berliner, M.D., chief of interventional radiology, and Ingrid Raphael-Henry, R.N.