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Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology allows radiologists to specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments using image guidance that, in particular instances, replaces the need for open surgery. Benefits to patients include: Less pain, shorter recovery and no large incisions. Common procedures include angiography, kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty, TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt), venous ablation, vein thrombolysis, central venous access, uterine fibroid embolization, aneurysm coiling, pain injections, and more.

All magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and mammography equipment along with the PET/CT scanner are accredited by the American College of Radiology.


Varicose Veins

Most common in the legs and feet, varicose veins are those that are swollen, appear twisted, sometimes cause pain, and are deep blue or purple in color. While anyone can get them, varicose veins are more prevalent in women.

What causes varicose veins? 

Valves and veins in the leg can weaken, so that blood flow is inhibited, collecting in the leg and causing pressure to build.  In turn, the vein becomes weak, twisted and enlarged.  In some cases, varicose veins may run in families.  Other causes may include:

  • Age
  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Leg trauma
  • Valve defects from birth

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

Many people may not experience any symptoms and the veins become more of a cosmetic issue when the vein is enlarged, twisted and blue or purple in color.  In some instances, symptoms may become painful and include:

  • Itching on the vein
  • A burning or throbbing sensation, muscle cramping and swelling in the lower leg
  • A heavy or aching feeling in the leg
  • Skin ulcers near the ankle
  • In any case, if you are concerned about how the veins look and feel, talk with your doctor.

What you can do

In some instances, there are things you can do to ease any pain or stave off worsening varicose veins such as exercising, losing weight, eliminating tight clothing, elevating the leg and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing.  Wearing compression stockings may also prove effective.  If, for cosmetic reasons, unsuccessful self-care or worsening conditions, there are minimally invasive outpatient procedures available that produce good results with rapid recovery and little to no pain, among other options.   Excela Health Latrobe Hospital Interventional Radiology offers minimally invasive procedures for varicose veins.  For a consultation, call 724-537-1882.