Interventional Radiology


Interventional Radiology (IR) at Mount Sinai has long been considered a top location for minimally invasive treatment of cancer. We use a full array of safe and effective approaches. We use imaging technology to help us treat you without surgery. By not having surgery, you avoid a variety of risk factors, including those associated with general anesthesia.

The imaging technology we use most often in IR are:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scans: These scans use X-rays to generate a 3D image of a part of your body.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This approach uses magnets and radio waves to create pictures of your body.
  • Ultrasound: This approach uses high-frequency sound waves to make pictures of your organs.
  • X-rays: These scans use electromagnetic radiation to create pictures of your body.

Conditions We Treat

At Mount Sinai, we use interventional radiology to treat kidney and liver cancers. Sometimes cancer spreads to another organ, which we call metastasis. Interventional radiation can also treat cancer that has spread to the adrenal gland, bone, lung, and other soft tissues.

Treatments We Offer 

Interventional radiology encompasses a variety of minimally invasive approaches. This means that there is less bleeding, scarring, pain, and time in the hospital. Interventional radiology approaches allow us to target treatment directly to the cancerous tissue, which preserves the healthy tissue. The interventional radiology procedures we use most often are:

Ablation: This approach involves inserting a needle into the tumor and using extreme hot or cold to destroy cancer cells. It does not involve incisions or surgery. We also use it to help with symptoms or to keep metastatic cancers from growing. We use several types of ablation, including radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation. Ablation helps us treat bone, breast, kidney, liver, or lung cancer.

Draining obstructions: If a tumor grows large enough to block flow of urine or bile, we can insert an X-ray-guided tube (catheter) to drain the excess fluid. We might also insert a tiny mesh tube (stent) to keep the area open and allow liquids to flow.

Embolization: A technique to deliver treatment directly to the cancer tumor, embolization can shrink or kill a tumor. It can also help with symptoms. If we deliver chemotherapy this way, we call it chemoembolization. If we deliver tiny beads covered with radioactive material, it is radioembolization. We use both types of embolization for certain liver tumors.

Irreversible electroporation (IRE): This new approach involves giving cancer cells a quick jolt of electricity through a tiny needle. It does not cause scarring or inflammation in nearby tissue. We may use this approach for pancreatic cancer.

Pain management: If you have bone or joint pain, we can inject a nerve block medication using an image-guided catheter. Interventional radiology imaging allows us to find the exact right spot to inject the medication.

Port and PICC line placement: To minimize the number of needle pricks during chemotherapy or diagnostic blood work, we often insert a catheter under your skin and connect it to a small plastic or metal disc called a port. This approach avoids bruising or bleeding and lowers the risk of tissue or muscle damage from leakage.

Tumor biopsy: We guide the needle using CT, ultrasound, X-ray, or magnetic resonance imaging MRI scans.

Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: Spine tumors can cause vertebral fractures. To provide spinal support and relieve the pain, we can insert a special type of bone cement into the vertebra. We can either inject the cement directly into the collapsed vertebra (veterbroplasty) or insert a balloon to open up a space, then fill that space with cement (kyphoplasty).

Why Mount Sinai

At the Mount Sinai Interventional Radiology, we offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment options, provided by highly trained and experienced specialists. We work closely with the rest of Mount Sinai’s nationally recognized cancer doctors for integrated care. And we pay close attention to the individual needs of you and your family.

In addition, we are also involved with numerous research studies using the latest breakthroughs in treatment therapies. This allows us to offer you the most innovative technologies, such as 3D navigational devices, to safely treat your tumor with the minimum amount of radiation exposure.