We talked interventional radiology with Dr. John Lipman of Atlanta Interventional Institute on this week’s show. Interventional radiologists are radiologists who are trained to perform a wide array of procedures using various radiologic images to guide their work.
In fact, as Dr. Lipman explained, it was interventional radiologists who invented the technology to perform procedures such as balloon angioplasty that was later used to open blocked arteries in the heart.
We talked about uterine fibroid embolization, a minimally-invasive procedure where a catheter is passed into the femoral artery and maneuvered to the arteries feeding uterine fibroids, where a chemical is instilled, caused the vessel to occlude. This blocks bloodflow to the fibroid, causing it to shrink and die, allowing for easy removal.
The alternative for these women is hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus, after which, the woman will need to take hormones to compensate for its loss. Additionally, it takes days longer to recover from the surgery and bears the risk of anesthesia and post-surgical infection.
Dr. Lipman talked about other procedures interventional radiologists are able to perform such as treatment of migraine headaches, and reversing infertility related to blocked fallopian tubes.
It is important for patients and their loved ones to be sure to ask lots of questions and to inquire about other available treatment options when surgery is recommended, particularly when it involves removal of an organ or amputation.
In this way, patients can limit risk associated with surgery in many cases, and save cost and time away from work. Dr. Lipman offered a number of questions patients and loved ones can ask to determine if an interventional radiologist is the one they should choose.
Dr. John Lipman, MD, FSIR, Atlanta Interventional Institute
- Doctorate of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Radiology Residency, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
- Fellowship, Vascular & Interventional Radiology, Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine
- Board Certified, Radiology, Vascular & Interventional Radiology
- Fellow, Society of Interventional Radiology