Announcer: This segment is sponsored by ARA Diagnostic Imaging.
Anchor: Welcome back to We are Austin. Minimally invasive and highly effective – we’re talking about interventional radiology. It’s the medical treatment of the future. I’m joined this morning by Dr. Michael Jaimes, from ARA Diagnostic Imaging, to tell us how this method can improve and even cure major health issues. Good morning. It’s great to see you.
Doctor: Good to meet you, Trevor and thank you for having me on the show.
Anchor: My pleasure.
Doctor: Thank you for inviting me.
Anchor: Yeah, this is a fascinating topic. I had not heard of this. Can you tell us a little bit about interventional radiology and why it’s so important?
Doctor: Great. Well, I’m glad you asked, not a lot of people know what we do. But interventional radiology is a subspecialty of medicine, specifically, it’s a subset of diagnostic radiology. These are highly trained doctors that go to school for 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of general internship, followed by 4 years of general radiology. And finally, finish with interventional radiology before they can start practice.
Anchor: Wow, that’s a lot.
Doctor: So what I love about interventional radiology is we tend to be at the forefront of medicine. Almost in every procedure and everything we do.
Anchor: That’s fascinating and minimally invasive at that. Which is so great.
Doctor: Yeah, well this is a slide here that really shows a lot text, but that’s not important. What it really shows is that we’re involved really in all the organ systems of the body. We do this through minimally invasive procedures. We make very small incisions in the groin. Sometimes those incisions are barely visible. We navigate very small catheters directly into the organ systems or they can be small needles which we then will deliver therapies through.
Anchor: Oh, wow that’s amazing, and everywhere in the body.
Doctor: Yup, everywhere in the body. So, this is a slide which shows a big name but I’ll explain this in a second. We can talk about liver tumors, right?
Anchor: Okay, good.
Doctor: Liver tumors tend to be my sub-specialty. I love treating liver tumors. So liver tumors are traditionally treated with oral chemotherapy or IV chemotherapy, sometimes open surgery. Some patients are candidates to be treated by interventional radiologists. We do this just like we had talked about on the last slide. We’ll make a very small incision, barely visible. We’ll navigate a very small catheter, as this dotted line shows, that will eventually end up in the liver.
Doctor: And then if you go to the next slide. Here’s a picture of a large tumor.
Anchor: I see.
Doctor: That’s surrounded by surrounded by lots of arteries, unfortunately. Over here is our catheter which is getting very close to the tumor, and those little dots are particles. We can load those particles with radiation. When we deliver that radiation to the tumor that’s called radioembolization with yttrium 90.
Anchor: Oh, fascinating.
Doctor: Our goal is to shrink the tumor or eliminate it completely and really try to prevent those therapies. . (Therapies like oral or IV chemotherapy, which can be very hard on the body.)
Anchor: And you brought an example of that. We have a video to show.
Doctor: Yes, yes you can. So, as you can see on this video, our catheter is directly inside the liver. We are administering contrast dye which that dark line that you see there on the bottom.
Doctor: Unfortunately, what stands out is this big rounded black spot. That big rounded black spot that’s the tumor.
Doctor: The reason it’s so dark is it’s soaking up all our dye. Which is no different than the tumor soaking up nutrients, electrolytes, oxygen, all those things. If you go to the next slide, do you see a difference with this one?
Anchor: I do. It’s not as dark, the color is not as dark.
Doctor: That’s right!
Doctor: So our catheter is in the same spot but the fact that we’re not seeing the tumor is proof positive that we have delivered our therapy directly to the tumor.
Doctor: So it’s no longer receiving nutrients and the nutrients then go to the liver which is what makes a patient feel better.
Anchor: That’s fascinating. You can see such a difference there. And this can be put to use in other ways.
Doctor: Right. So this is one of my favorite procedures. Probably the newest thing on the forefront. This is a picture of a prostate. This is bladder on top and this little tube here is called the urethra, which helps empty the bladder. Unfortunately, in men, prostates tend to enlarge over time.
Doctor: There’s not a cancerous growth, it’s really just prostate cells that are either dividing or getting larger themselves. And this narrows that little urethra.
Doctor: That will give patients symptoms of increased frequency. It’ll give patients a sense of urgency, having to wake up multiple times at night, sometimes bloody urine, and in extreme cases, it can be really painful. So we can treat this.
Anchor: Yeah and that can impact your quality of life as well.
Doctor: That’s right. So, again we do a similar procedure.
Doctor: A very small incision, guide our catheter directly to the prostate. Then this finally shows that we are delivering those particles directly to the prostate. There are those small beads.
Anchor: Yes, that’s fascinating.
Doctor: Yup, there are those small beads. After we treat that side, we’ll turn our catheters, treat the other side. And then we get this result on the next slide.
Doctor: Which is now the prostate’s smaller, the urethra’s larger, the bladder’s able to empty.
Doctor: So revolutionary procedure.
Anchor: It really is!
Doctor: It’s called prostate artery embolization. We can do this as an outpatient. Minimal sedation. Patients have quick recovery time.
Doctor: And perhaps most importantly, men preserve their sexual function compared to traditional surgeries.
Anchor: That is incredible. It really does seem like it’s on the forefront of medical procedures.
Anchor: And minimally invasive, outpatient, not a lot of downtime.
Doctor: That’s right.
Anchor: That’s incredible. Where can we go to find a little bit more information about interventional radiology?
Doctor: Sure. Well, you can go to ausrad.com. Okay, and that’s our website where you can learn about all the procedures we do such as uterine fiboid embolization. We treat blocked arteries. We treat varicose veins.
Doctor: And as you know, we now know prostate as well. And if you don’t like the website, then, of course, you can call us directly (512) 467-XRAY or (512) 467-9729.
Anchor: Doctor, that is fascinating stuff. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Doctor: Well thank you for having me. It was really a pleasure.
Anchor: Absolutely. Really important work. Thanks so much for being here.
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.