RIA Expands Outpatient Access | by Jeannette Moninger

Interventional radiology technologist, Michael Rose, and medical director, Dr. Peter Stratil view images of catheters threading through an artery. This technique helps the doctors to perform several types of minimally-invasive procedures.

Posted on Mon, Oct 14, 2019

The RIA Interventional Suite is Denver's first non-hospital option for IR procedures.

In May, Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA) opened the first outpatient interventional suite in the Denver area. Located in the Denver Tech Center’s Centrum building, the RIA Interventional Suite is part of the RIA Endovascular Clinic. “We are the first to offer patients the convenience of having minimally invasive interventional procedures in a non-hospital setting,” says Dr. Peter G. Stratil, RIA endovascular medical director. A vascular and interventional radiologist, Stratil explains the importance of this new suite.

What is an interventional radiologist?

Interventional radiologists are physicians who use image guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures, treating a wide variety of diseases. We use low-dose X-rays called fluoroscopy to create a continuous image of the body. It’s sort of like an X-ray movie. We can also use ultrasound to guide different types of procedures. These images help us thread catheters (thin flexible tubes) through an artery or vein to virtually any location in the body, where we can perform several interventions that require just a tiny needle prick in the skin. Patients experience very little pain, blood loss or scarring, and the infection risk is quite low. As a result, patients resume their daily activities quickly.

What is the RIA Interventional Suite?

Our suite offers the same sophisticated technology found in hospitals but in a more convenient, individualized and less expensive setting. Patients receive personalized care from the same nurse from pre-op to recovery. At the RIA Endovascular Clinic, we provide comprehensive consultations, perform diagnostic tests like ultrasounds and CT scans and then quickly schedule a patient for the appropriate treatment all during one visit. There’s no extra paperwork or any need to call another facility to schedule treatment. By offering these services on an outpatient basis, we make it easier for patients to get the care they need quickly. 

Dr. Peter G. Stratil, RIA Endovascular medical director
Dr. Peter G. Stratil, RIA Endovascular medical director

What procedures do you offer at the RIA Interventional Suite?

We have a team of 13 interventional radiologists. Each doctor has a unique subspecialty, such as arterial disease, venous disease or spinal compression fractures. This specialization ensures that patients receive care from a physician who has a high level of expertise treating their unique condition.  

Patients typically receive a local anesthetic and a sedative before a procedure. Our services include:

  • Angiogram: This procedure helps us diagnose and treat atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Left untreated, blockages can form in the arteries which can prevent blood from flowing to critical parts of the body. To open the artery, one option would be to inflate a balloon within the artery across the narrowing. Alternatively, we can also place a metal stent to hold the artery open. 
  • Venogram: This procedure is similar to an angiogram except for veins. It helps us find blockages in the veins caused by previous blood clots or compression on the vein. We can then treat the narrowing with balloons or stents to restore blood flow.  
  • Vertebral augmentation: This treatment provides tremendous pain relief for people who have spinal compression fractures. These fractures most commonly result from osteoporosis, a condition that makes bones thin and brittle. When a fracture occurs, the patient can experience extreme pain and the bone can collapse. During vertebroplasty, interventional radiologists inject a medical-grade bone cement mixture into the fractures to strengthen the spine. In some cases, we might use a balloon device to expand the space between the fractures before injecting the cement. This is known as kyphoplasty. As a result of the procedure, 90-95% of patients experience pain relief.
  • Embolization: Embolization means to cut off or stop the blood flow within a vessel. We use embolization to stop abnormal bleeding, seal off vessels that supply blood to a tumor or treat weakened or bulging spots in the arterial walls called aneurysms. Our team has had great success using this treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome, the second leading cause of women’s pelvic pain. The procedure cuts off blood flow to varicose veins in the pelvic area. Embolization also has a high success rate (up to 90%) treating uterine fibroids, a condition that causes prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding. 
  • Central venous access: We implant intravenous ports and catheters for people who need IV chemotherapy, dialysis or other treatments. These devices provide continuous easy access to a vein or artery.

What other services do you offer patients?

We pride ourselves on delivering patient care with a personal touch. Our nurses guide patients through every step of the diagnostic and treatment processes. After treatment, we provide ongoing care to protect a patient’s health. 

RIA Interventional Suite
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