RMI offers a number of interventional procedures performed by our specialists.
Image-guided biopsy is used for patients with suspected cancer. It makes the process of extracting tissue for further examination easier for the patient. In most cases, these minimally invasive surgical techniques can eliminate the need for a major surgery or a hospital stay. RMI’s interventional specialists are experienced in image-guided abdominal, breast, and thyroid biopsies, among others.
Excess fluid accumulations in the body are sometimes symptoms of cancer, infections, heart disease, liver or kidney disorders, or other conditions. Doctors sometimes study fluid from these accumulations to diagnose disease. Drainage may also be a part of the ongoing treatment program for patients with cancer or other conditions.
Image-guided drainage procedures use medical imaging methods to guide insertion of a drainage needle to the site of the fluid accumulation. For patients requiring longer-term or frequent drainage, a drainage tube or port may be installed. These ports may also be used for delivery of drugs that treat certain types of cancer.
Paracentesis—Port installation in and/or drainage of the abdominal cavity.
Thoracentesis—Port installation in and/or drainage of the chest cavity.
Abscess Drainage—Drainage of infected accumulations of fluid in the body. This procedure often includes installing a drainage tube.
Nuclear Medicine Injections
Nuclear imaging and treatment procedures can be helpful in planning treatment for certain types of cancer, or for delivering radiation treatments for thyroid cancer or enlarged thyroid disorders. Two procedures in this category that are available at RMI include sentinel node mapping and Iodine-131 therapy.
Sentinel Node Mapping
For many types of cancer, a critical next step after diagnosis is to identify the stage of the cancer, determining whether it has spread and, if so, where, so that an appropriate treatment can be planned.
Since many types of cancer spread through the lymphatic system, identifying the first lymph node that receives drainage from a tumor—called the sentinel lymph node—is an important part of staging and treatment planning. Once the sentinel lymph node has been identified, it can be removed along with nearby lymph nodes to test for the presence of cancer cells.
In sentinel node mapping, the patient is injected with a small amount of radioactive material that, when absorbed by body tissues, becomes visible to imaging equipment. This makes it possible to observe the process of drainage from a tumor into nearby lymph nodes, to identify the sentinel lymph node.
Iodine-131 is a radioactive substance that is used in treating thyroid cancer or enlarged thyroid disorders. If your doctor orders Iodine-131 therapy at RMI, you will be given, under the supervision of a radiologist, a dose of the substance to swallow in capsule or liquid form.
Iodine-131 is absorbed into the bloodstream and taken up by the thyroid, where it remains for a period of time, destroying some of the thyroid tissues, including excessive or cancerous cells. The treatment takes effect gradually, over a period of 1 to 3 months, with full benefit appearing in 3 to 6 months.
Iodine-131 therapy requires detailed preparation and follow-up procedures. Instructions will be given to you in advance of your appointment.