Benefits of Interventional Radiology | Carson Tahoe Health

Outpatient procedures using interventional radiology often offer patients precision treatment with same-day recovery.

Interventional radiology is a form of minimally invasive treatment, which uses radiologic imaging, such as CT, MRI, and ultrasound, to navigate instruments through organs and blood vessels. Through incisions a centimeter long, doctors can biopsy or treat tumors, clear blocked arteries and add stents, and address kidney or liver problems.

Interventional Radiology vs. Conventional Surgery

Compared to conventional open surgery, interventional radiology offers less pain, less blood loss, lower risk of infection, and faster recovery time. Those who are at higher risk from anesthesia will also benefit from interventional radiology, as interventionalists use only a moderate sedation.

“The biggest benefit for patients treated by interventional radiologists is that nearly all of the procedures are outpatient, meaning patients can go home the same day,” says Erik Maki, MD, Interventional Radiologist on staff at Carson Tahoe Health. “The typical recovery period is between two and six hours. The longer recovery periods are due to accessing an artery, which requires longer monitoring compared to other nonvascular procedures.”

World-Class Imaging Expertise
As a practice, interventional radiology requires specialization in radiology and interventional therapy, as well as extensive training in medical imaging, radiation, and minimally invasive procedures.

“All the interventional radiologists at Carson Tahoe are board-certified,” Dr. Maki says. “We each have our own unique abilities which have been acquired, either via extensive experience and/or training at world-class institutions.”

Dr. Maki and Keith Shonnard, MD, are the two practicing interventional radiologists, and a third will be joining them soon.

“Our team at Tahoe Carson Radiology realizes that many people don’t know much about interventional radiology because it is a newer field of medicine,” Dr. Maki says. “It is our responsibility as medical providers to educate the community about the types of services we provide. We believe that patients who are informed do much better in their recovery process.”

To schedule an appointment at the Carson Tahoe Imaging Center, call (775) 445-5500. Have questions? Call (775) 445-7145 to ask a nurse questions.