Angiography & Interventional

The Department of Angiography/Interventional Diagnostic Imaging is committed to providing the highest quality of care. The Department specializes in angiography (the use of a contrast dye to examine arteries and veins) and interventional radiology (surgery-sparing procedures using small instruments to treat disease through the skin).

Angiography, angioplasty and stent placement

Angiography, angioplasty and stent placement refers to a series of methods to view and treat blood vessel problems such as blockages.

  • Angiography is an X-ray (angiogram) of arteries and veins to see if there is a blockage or narrowing of a blood vessel
  • Angioplasty is a technique where a thin balloon is attached to a tube and inserted into a blocked vessel. The balloon is opened in the blocked area which opens the blood vessel.
  • Stents are flexible tubes that are inserted into the body to help keep open clogged areas in blood vessels.

Biliary drains

Biliary drains are inserted into patients who have blocked bile ducts. This problem can be caused by a tumor in the region. Opening the biliary ducts allows bile to drain from the liver. If ducts are blocked, patients may experience infection, fever, pain and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).


Chemoembolization is the delivery of chemotherapy drugs directly to the site of a cancer tumor. This procedure is used most often to treat cancers of the endocrine system, including melanoma and liver cancers.

Since the chemotherapy drugs are delivered into the tumor, stronger doses of the drugs may be used. This technique may help to decrease the number of side-effects of standard chemotherapy because the drugs are trapped within the tumor and are not circulating through the body.

IVC filter placement

IVC filter placement is a procedure where a filter is put into the inferior vena cava (IVC) to trap and break up blood clots.

Patients with certain chronic conditions or any illness that limits mobility are at risk of forming blood clots that can travel to the heart or lungs. When this happens it is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT can cause chronic swelling and leg pain when walking and there is a risk that the clots will move to the lung (pulmonary embolism) or heart. The filter helps to avoid any life-threatening complications from a blood clot.

Nephrostomy tubes

Nephrostomy Tubes are inserted into patients who have blocked kidneys. This urinary drainage system is used to help patients void if the urinary system is blocked by a tumor. If a blockage is not opened, patients may experience infection, fever and pain.

Transjugular liver biopsy

Transjugular liver biopsy is a method of diagnosing cancer in the liver by using a long, thin biopsy device that is threaded into the jugular vein and guided into the liver.

There are many ways to locate a lump in the liver (X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance (MR) etc.). However, a diagnosis of cancer can only be confirmed by a pathologist examining a piece of the suspected tissue. Using this technique, an interventional radiologist can obtain a sample of abnormal tissue from the liver without a patient having to undergo open surgery.

Tube thoracostomy

Tube thoracostomy is a procedure where a tube in placed into the chest cavity to help drain the area around the lungs. This may help with patients who are receiving chemotherapy that is targeting the lung tissue.

Uterine artery embolization

Uterine artery embolization (or uterine fibroid embolization) is a procedure to shrink benign tumors in the uterus. Uterine fibroids are the most common tumors in the female reproductive tract and are non-cancerous. However, when they become enlarged they can cause pain and heavy bleeding. In this procedure, clotting agents are injected into the artery of the uterus which blocks blood flow to the fibroid tissue.

Roswell Park has been using this method to destroy fibroids, which may preserve fertility by avoiding hysterectomy, particularly in young women with this condition.

Venous access

Venous access (also called central venous access) is a procedure that inserts a tube (catheter) beneath the skin into blood vessels. This process allows for blood to be drawn when needed or for patients to receive medicine and nutrients.

The tube that is inserted is called a Central Venous Access Catheter (CVAC). There are several kinds of CVAC including tunneled catheters, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) lines, dialysis catheters and implantable ports.