An established tool in human medicine, inter- ventional radiology has tremendous potential for the treatment of serious maladies in pets. Interventional radiology involves the use of con- temporary imaging methods to deliver thera- peutic materials to different systems.The veteri- nary community is acquiring and refining similar procedures as human medicine to provide non- surgical alternatives with decreased morbidity/mortality rates, minimal anesthesia time, shorter hospital stays and lower costs.
Interventional radiology utilizes fluoroscopy to visualize the placement of catheters, stents, bal- loons and coils into blood vessels, the urinary system, the respiratory system and other tubular structures. Interventional endoscopy uses an instrument called the endoscope under fluoro- scopic guidance for diagnostic and therapeutic endeavors like clearing malignant obstructions in the urethra, ureter, bladder, common bile duct or intestines/colon; opening strictures in the urinary system, nasal passages, trachea or intestine; relieving bile-duct obstructions secondary to obstructive pancreatitis, choleliths, infection or tumors; and pulverizing stones in the urinary or biliary system, a process known as lithotripsy. These procedures are still largely experimental in animals and being studied at Penn for many different applications in our companion animal patients.
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