UCSF’s interventional radiology uses the most advanced techniques and uses state-of-the-art imaging equipment with reduced x-ray doses to help patients. Pioneering work in the treatment of liver disease and all procedures performed in sophisticated imaging suites are just some of the hallmarks of UCSF interventional radiology.
How do interventional radiologists make a cancer diagnosis?
By UCSF Radiologist Dr. Robert Kerlan.
A Liver transplant surgery procedure replaces a patient's diseased liver with a whole or partial healthy liver from another person. UCSF’s liver transplant program is one of the nation's largest, has a one-year survival rate of 92 percent (compared with the national average of 87 percent), and achieves excellent results even with high-risk patients. UCSF’s transplant team is cross-functional and interventional radiologists are active contributors to the liver transplant surgery team using various procedures to contribute.
Portal vein embolization (PVE) is an example of what the interventional radiologist may perform. This procedure induces regrowth on one side of the liver in advance of a planned the surgical removal of a portion of the liver (hepatic resection) of the other side. An interventional radiologist places a needle through the skin into the liver and identifies the blood vessel on the side where the largest part of the tumor is being supplied. Tiny microspheres are then infused into the portal vein that is supplying blood flow to the area in order to cut off (or embolize) the blood flow.
This blockage prompts the other side of the liver to re-grow, in effect tricking the body into regenerating. This has the effect of enlarging the remaining liver sections on which the patient will depend after liver transplant surgery procedure.
UCSF is a world leader in Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunts (TIPS). This procedure was refined at UCSF and is used to manage patients with complications of cirrhosis or other liver diseases. A Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) procedure is essentially a liver shunt procedure, whereby an interventional radiologist places a tubular device in the liver. The liver shunt connects the hepatic vein with the portal vein in order to relieve abnormally high blood pressure that has built up in the liver and to address risks associated with rupture and bleeding of dilated blood vessels (called varices) in the esophagus or stomach. High pressure and bleeding can be life-threatening complications of liver disease.
(Left): Image from a portal venogram showing varices.
(Right): Following placement of a Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystem Shunt (TIPS),
the varices no longer fill.
Our state-of-the-art imaging suites all feature C-arm CT and radiation reduction software. In addition, we utilize one of the few suites in the world capable of combining angiographic and MRI imaging, which allows us to perform procedures with a very high degree of precision.
Interventional radiology physicians beginning a procedure
to remove blood clot from an arm vein.
We are dedicated to upholding the highest possible standards of safety, and we invite you to read more about our department’s commitment to patient safety.