Comprehensive vascular and non-vascular interventional care, as well as interventional oncology services, are available to patients at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital through a new exclusive partnership with Northwestern Medicine.
Interventional radiology (IR) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which uses minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. The science behind interventional radiology is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques currently available to minimize risk, reduce infection rates and recovery time, shorten hospital stays and improve outcomes. Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists.
The primary interventional radiologists providing this care at Elmhurst Memorial are Elias Hohlastos, MD, Ryan Hickey, MD and Andrew Blum, MD, all members of the Northwestern Medical Group. They are part of the new interventional radiology outpatient clinic, which opens in February in the Hospital’s Center for Health, 1200 S. York Street in Elmhurst. This new partnership aligns closely with the November 2013 opening of the hospital’s Center for Cancer Care.
Dr. Blum, who focuses on peripheral vascular disease, has been part of the IR team at Elmhurst Memorial since 2008. Dr. Blum will continue to work closely with Drs. Hohlastos and Hickey, who are also experts in interventional oncology.
“Interventional radiology and interventional oncology have come a long way over the past 20 years,” explains Riad Salem, MD, Chief of Interventional Radiology at Northwestern Medicine and recently named to Chicagomagazine’s 2014 list of Top Doctors. “What began as procedures used mainly on the heart, interventional methods can now be performed on many other parts of the body. Many patients tolerate interventional procedures better since there is minimal anesthesia and the incision is typically less than two millimeters in size requiring no sutures. Often times the procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.”
Interventional radiologists are the pioneers in modern minimally invasive medicine. Using X-rays, CT, ultrasound, MRI and other imaging modalities, interventional radiologists capture images to help direct interventional instruments throughout the body – often in spaces less than three millimeters in size. These procedures are usually performed using needles and narrow tubes called catheters. Some of the more common conditions using interventional treatments include aneurysms, arterial disease, varicose veins and uterine fibroid embolization.
Interventional oncology, which is becoming the fourth pillar in cancer care, is used at various stages in cancer treatment. It can be used alone or in conjunction with standard of care cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, as a palliative treatment, or as a bridge to organ transplantation. Through new refined procedures, interventional oncologists deliver radiation or chemotherapy directly to the blood vessels. This is very helpful in the treatment of liver cancer and is often used on patients who cannot handle surgery or with tumors that do not respond well to chemotherapy.
Northwestern Medicine’s interventional radiology group works closely as a multidisciplinary team with the patient’s referring Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare physician to ensure the best possible treatment. Clinical nurse coordinators assist patients with planning and follow-up care.
To meet Drs. Blum, Hickey and Hohlastos, and learn more about interventional radiology, visit www.emhc.org/services/cancer-center/videos. For more information, call (331) 221-0560.