Interventional neuroradiology is a new and rapidly evolving field in which specialists with training in both interventional radiology and neurosurgery provide minimally-invasive, elective, and emergency treatments for stroke, aneurysm, and other brain and spine diseases. Using advanced cross-sectional and three dimensional imaging, these procedures show great promise for improved diagnosis and clinical outcomes.
We provide skilled care for diseases and disorders including:
- Cerebral aneurysms
- Brain arteriovenous malformations
- Dural arteriovenous fistulas
- Acute stroke
- Intra-cranial tumors (e.g. meningioma, paraganglioma, hemangioblastoma)
- Epistaxis (nosebleed)
- Carotid stenosis
- Traumatic carotid and vertebral artery injury
How do I get ready for the procedure?
On the night before the procedure eat a light meal, then do not eat or drink anything after midnight. We will provide you with more detailed information about which medications you may take in days before and on the morning of the procedure. Many patients undergoing interventional neuroradiologic procedures remain in the hospital overnight following the procedure. We will let you know ahead of time if you should plan for an overnight stay.
What will happen during the procedure?
After you arrive at the neuroangiography lab or interventional radiology suite and change into a gown, you will lie face up on the procedure table. To relax you and block any pain we will intravenously give you a combination of medicines called “conscious sedation.” For some interventional neuroradiologic procedures we use general anesthesia. Using X-ray and/or ultrasound image guidance, we will insert a long, very thin tube called a catheter through a small incision into a large blood vessel in the groin, arm, or neck. We will inject a contrast dye through the catheter to highlight the area we plan to treat and the blood vessels that supply it on the X-ray. Depending on your disorder or disease, we may use a catheter to pass specially designed neurological implants (coils, stents, particulate, and liquid embolic materials) to the area in the brain or spine correct the problem. Most procedures take about an hour.
Are there any risks?
When we use catheter-based treatments, there is a very slight risk of damage to the blood vessel, bruising or bleeding at the puncture site, and infection. There is a slight chance that an embolic agent can lodge in the wrong place and deprive normal tissue of its oxygen supply.
After the procedure
Most people remain in the neuroangiography lab or IR suite for several hours of rest and observation following embolization, and are then moved to a hospital room overnight. We will give you additional instructions before you leave the hospital and go home.