Interventional radiology offers an alternative to open surgical procedures and helps address many neurological conditions.The McNear Neuroradiology Interventional Suite uses a “biplane” for 3-D imaging to allow a neuroradiologist to pinpoint the area of interest such as a tumor, malformation or brain bleed.
TMC and Radiology Ltd. are working together to provide 24/7 coverage by interventional neuroradiologists as part of the hospital's comprehensive stroke program.
Several procedures can be performed in the interventional radiology suite, including:
- Angiography: An angiogram is an X-ray test that uses a special dye and camera to take pictures of blood flow in the blood vessels. For neurology patients, the focus of the test is typically the brain (cerebral angiogram), or the head and neck (carotid angiogram). An angiogram can find a bulge in a blood vessel (aneurysm). It can also show narrowing or a blockage in a blood vessel that slows or stops blood flow. An abnormal pattern of blood vessels or abnormal vessels near a tumor can also be seen.
- Angioplasty and Angioplasty with Vascular Stenting: Minimally invasive procedures performed to improve blood flow in the body's arteries. In angioplasty, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed. In vascular stenting, which is often performed with angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent is permanently placed in the newly opened artery to help it remain open.
- Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty: Minimally invasive spinal procedures that use image guidance to inject a special cement mixture through a needle into fractured or broken vertebra. The procedures are used to help stabilize and strengthen the spinal column which helps relieve pain.
- Mechanical Thrombectomy for Treatment of Acute Stroke: Thrombectomy is the emergency removal of a blood clot which is blocking blood circulation to an area of the brain. Thrombectomy is an emergency procedure often as the last resort because permanent blockage of significant blood flow to the brain leads to death of brain tissue. Time is brain. Not all patients are candidates for this procedure. An emergent evaluation is required during your Emergency Department visit.
About G.R. McNear
G. Roger McNear, originally from Scotland, was a retired manager of European operations for the U.S. Rubber Co. He was a patient at TMC needing emergency brain surgery. Following his successful recovery, he wanted to honor his surgeon by making a significant contribution to further his work in neurosurgery. As a result, a planned gift through his estate established the G.R. McNear Fund for Neurosurgery at Tucson Medical Center. The proceeds of the fund have resulted in the McNear Neuroradiology Interventional Suite.