The location where an Interventional Radiologist performs image-guided, minimally invasive procedures is a room in the Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) or the Angiography Suite. This state-of-the-art environment is like an operating room with diagnostic imaging equipment that assists the Interventional Radiologist during a procedure.

Dr. Matthew Dicker, an Interventional Radiologist with Prescott Radiologists said, “The majority of the procedures performed in the Cath Lab are catheter based, which means that we place a small tube in a blood vessel, through the leg or other body part, in order to take a picture of it.”

Procedures such as angiography, angioplasty, vertebroplasty, uterine fibroid embolization, chemoembolization, and aortic stent grafts are performed using image guidance in a Cath Lab environment.

Other non-catheter based procedures include the placement of implanted devices such as pacemakers or IV mediports and vascular access procedures such as intravenous PICC lines. External tubes and drains can also be inserted as needed into the stomach, liver, gall bladder or kidneys.

As Dr. Dicker explains, “The main imaging equipment is fluoroscopy, or real time X-ray. That, along with ultrasound and CT scan technology, helps to guide us through blood vessels or organs of interest. We use various sizes and shapes of wires, catheters and stents, as well as plaque-busting devices that help us open blockages, deliver medication, or help a patient receive long-term medications in a way that is minimally invasive with a shorter recovery time.”

The Cath Lab at the James Family Heart Center at YRMC West has a warm and welcoming environment with an attentive and knowledgeable team of nurses, technologists and other healthcare professionals who meet their patients’ and the doctors’ needs every day.

Dr. Dicker added, “With the excellent treatment by caring and supportive nurses before and after the procedure, the care by the team in the procedure room, and the relatively pain-free procedures, a trip to the Cath Lab doesn’t have to be a scary experience.”

Please contact Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott at (928) 771-8477 if you have questions about the Cath Lab or the Cath Lab experience. Also follow for more articles and videos about image-guided, minimally invasive procedures.

Related: Defining Interventional Radiology: Meet Your Local IR Doctors