Interventional Radiology - University of Washington
Interventional radiology (“IR”) is a medical specialty that uses imaging guidance (such as x-rays, CT scans, or ultrasound) to perform minimally invasive therapies for a variety of diseases almost anywhere in the body. Many patients are treated in an outpatient setting, using local anesthetics and moderate sedation instead of riskier general anesthesia required for traditional surgery. IR procedures are associated with less pain, less risk, shorter recovery, and often lower cost than comparable operations.
The UW IR group provides services to the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). We work in 11 state-of-the-art IR suites with a strong emphasis on using the absolute minimum radiation dose required for safe and effective treatment.
Our IR section is nationally renowned for the quality of its clinical care, cutting edge research, and training programs for young physicians. The team includes 11 full time faculty (all with specialty training in IR), three part time faculty, three physician assistants, two nurse coordinators and a cadre of specially trained nurses, technologists, medical assistants, and schedulers.
Our group emphasizes a patient- and family-centered approach to care. Every fulltime faculty member devotes one day per week to outpatient clinic activities. We offer longitudinal service for our patients, including initial evaluation in an outpatient clinic, a dedicated IR inpatient service at some hospitals, and long term care after the procedure. Some of the diseases evaluated or treated by our team include:
- Primary tumors of the liver, kidney, and lung, including chemoembolization (TACE), yttrium-90 (Y90) radiotherapy, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and irreversible electroporation (IRE)
- Metastatic tumors to the liver
- Benign uterine fibroids in women
- Varicocele and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) in men
- Vascular anomalies and vascular malformations
- Peripheral arterial disease of the legs
- Acute venous disease of the legs, including thrombolysis and placement and removal of inferior vena cava filters
- Chronic venous disease of the legs and arms, including angioplasty and stent placement
- Failing hemodialysis access
- Liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension complications
- Complications of liver and kidney transplantation
- Obstructions of the biliary system
- Evaluation of “secondary” hypertension due to uncommon endocrine problems
- Repair of lymphatic injuries
- Interventional procedures in children
Training and Education
All of the IR attending physicians are teachers as well as clinical doctors. Many are invited to give lectures at national and international meetings to share their knowledge with other practitioners. We run a highly competitive fellowship training program. Each year, five young physicians who have completed a four year diagnostic radiology residency spend one year learning the field of interventional radiology with our faculty.
The UW IR section has an active research program. Basic science work is done in the Image Guided Biomolecular Intervention Laboratory at the UW South Lake Union Campus. Many of the faculty hold outside research funding, including prestigious NIH R01 grants. Specific research interests are listed on the individual faculty members’ profiles.