Vascular and interventional radiology (VIR) is a specialized field which has evolved from a diagnostic subspecialty to one aimed at treating various disease processes, thereby avoiding future surgeries. Procedures are performed in the VIR suites using imaging such as ultrasound, fluoroscopy or x-ray, and CT scanning for guidance. Instead of large incisions required for some surgeries, these procedures are performed through tiny holes made in the skin such that small catheters or needles can be guided to the treatment site for the application of the appropriate treatment. Applications of such techniques include uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) (click for Powerpoint presentation), oncology interventions such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), chemoembolization, and therasphere treatment, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for spine fractures, and laser varicose vein ablation.
VIR division is comprised of 8 procedure rooms with 6 full-time physicians and a nurse practitioner. We utilize a clinic with 6 patient rooms for our pre-procedure and post-procedure visits. Our procedure volume continues to increase, with a 20% growth from last year over the previous year. This increase has not diminished our ability to see patients in a timely fashion, as we easily provide service within one week of consultation, a practice at UNC for almost 30 years.