Urological Conditions Treated with IR

Urological Conditions

Urological conditions involve kidney stones, infection, or an injury to the kidney. Symptoms of a kidney problem include decreased urine output, fatigue, loss of appetite, frequent urgency to urinate, and blood in the urine. Other symptoms may include infertility or pelvic pain due to varicocele or pelvic congestion syndrome. Depending on the kidney issue, symptoms may vary. To manage kidney conditions, interventional radiologists use the following:

Nephrostomy Tube Placement/Removal

Nephrostomy tube placement is done to drain urine from one or both of the kidneys. This procedure is normally done to establish a collecting system during cancers, infections or kidney stones.

  • Placement: The radiologist will use an ultrasound or fluoroscopy to locate the area of the kidney that the tube will be placed. A needle is used to gain access to the collecting system and a tube is placed over a wire after access is obtained. The tube is secured with a disc with one end of the tube in the kidney and the other end attached to a bag to collect the urine. 
  • Removal: A nephrostomy tube can be removed at any time. If it it must remain attached, catheters are cleaned on unique-to-patient intervals. To remove a nephrostomy tube, the doctor injects the site with an anesthetic to numb the area. The doctor will then remove the tube and appropriately place a bandage over the access point.
Suprapubic Catheter Placement

A suprapubic catheter is a hollow flexible tube that is used to drain urine into a bag. The tube is placed directly into the bladder, slightly below the belly button. This procedure provides more comfort than a regular catheter because of the placement not being through the urethra. To place this catheter, an ultrasound is used for guidance and an X-ray with contrast dye is used to better visualize the urinary bladder when inserting the needle for confirmation. Once the catheter is in place in the bladder, a small balloon on the catheter secures it from falling out.

Varicocele Embolization

Varicocele embolization is a procedure that uses imaging guidance and a catheter. Tiny coils and/or a liquid substance will be placed in a blood vessel to divert blood flow away from the varicocele. This allows for treatment of an enlarged vein in a male patient’s scrotum. 

Prostate Embolization

Embolization refers to the procedure in which medical materials or devices are placed into a blood vessel to temporarily or permanently stop bleeding. This can be used to treat fibroids, pelvic veins, enlarged prostate, varicoceles, and other conditions.

Ovarian Vein Embolization

During this procedure, Interventional Radiologists use an image-guided catheter to close the faulty veins that are causing pain and swelling.

Prostatic Artery Embolization

During this procedure, Interventional Radiologists use an image-guided catheter to deliver small beads into the arteries surrounding the prostate,. These small beads help reduce blood flow which shrinks the prostate and relieves painful symptoms.

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