An interventional radiologist performs a procedure

At University of Maryland Medical Center, our interventional radiology specialists offer innovative, minimally invasive treatment options for vascular conditions ranging from aneurysms to varicose veins.

These image-guided procedures use medical instruments, such as cameras and surgical tools, that are attached to a wire inside a small tube. Our doctors then use imaging such as CT, MRI, fluoroscopy and ultrasound to guide them to the exact spot in the body for diagnosis or treatment.

Compared to open surgery, interventional radiology procedures typically offer:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less pain
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery times

Minimally Invasive Treatments for:


An aneurysm is a bulging weak spot in a blood vessel. Aneurysms are most often found in blood vessels in the brain or the heart (specifically, the aorta). An aneurysm can grow slowly, weakening the artery wall as it expands, much like a balloon.

  • Brain aneurysms can burst, resulting in bleeding in the brain called a hemorrhagic stroke, the most dangerous type of stroke.
  • Aortic aneurysms, like brain aneurysms, are often found during routine imaging for other conditions. A burst aortic aneurysm is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Cerebral Angiography

If you have hemorrhagic stroke symptoms, your doctor may recommend cerebral angiography. This interventional radiology procedure uses contrast material and X-rays to examine blood vessels in the neck and brain.

Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR)

EVAR may be used to repair large aortic aneurysms that are fast-growing, leaking or bleeding. Our specialists insert a catheter, or small tube, in the inner thigh to place a stent, a tube of metal or plastic screen covered in fabric, within the aneurysm to prevent further growth.

Aneurysm Embolization

Also called endovascular coiling, this image-guided procedure involves using a small tube to place a coil of platinum wire to stop blood flow into an aneurysm.

Covered Stent Aneurysm Repair

Another endovascular option for treating an aortic aneurysm is the placement of a stent covered with impermeable fabric in the aorta. We expand the stent to hold it in place and restore blood flow.

Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

AVM is a tangle of arteries and veins connected without the normal network of capillaries (tiny blood vessels) between them. AVMs usually develop before birth and are most common in the brain. If an AVM ruptures and bleeds, it is a type of hemorrhagic stroke and can be life-threatening.

Catheter Embolization

X-ray imaging is used to guide a small tube to the site of the AVM. A glue-like substance is injected to seal off the blood vessel and prevent blood flow to the AVM.

Blood Clots – Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot deep inside the body, usually within a vein in the lower leg or thigh. The risk is a clot breaking off and traveling through the bloodstream to the lungs, heart or brain, resulting in severe damage or ischemic stroke.

Balloon Venoplasty/Venous Stenting

Our specialists use imaging and a catheter to insert a balloon in the blocked vein. We inflate the balloon to open the vein and may insert a mesh, metal or plastic stent to keep the vein open.

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis

Doctors use X-ray imaging to guide a catheter containing medication or a device to the blood clot and dissolve it, restoring blood flow.

Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement and Removal

The inferior vena cava is the large vein that returns blood from your lower body to the heart. Our specialists use imaging to guide the placement of an IVC filter in the vein to trap blood clot fragments that can break off and travel to the heart and lungs.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) results when plaque narrows and hardens the arteries that supply blood to your limbs, injuring nerves and other tissues.

Angioplasty and Vascular Stenting for PAD

Minimally invasive treatment for PAD includes angioplasty and vascular stenting. Angioplasty uses X-ray fluoroscopy, or live-streaming X-ray, to guide a balloon-tipped catheter to the blockage.

We inflate the balloon, opening the artery and restoring blood flow. Next, we may place a stent, a wire mesh, metal or plastic tube, to keep the artery open.

Pulmonary Embolism

A sudden blockage in a lung artery, pulmonary embolism usually happens when a blood clot breaks free into the bloodstream and travels to the lungs. The condition is serious and can be life-threatening.

We offer minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment for pulmonary embolism, including:

Pulmonary Angiography

Using X-ray imaging, your radiologist will guide a catheter to your lungs and use a special dye to see inside the arteries and determine blood flow through your lungs.

Pulmonary Thrombolysis

This minimally invasive procedure uses a catheter and X-ray to deliver clot-dissolving medicine through the pulmonary artery.

Varicose Veins

Swollen, bluish and twisted veins you can see right under the skin are called varicose veins. Although they usually develop in the legs, varicose veins can develop in other parts of the body and are common and often painful.

Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins

Also called endovenous ablation, this minimally invasive therapy uses laser energy passed through a thin tube to close the vein and cut off the blood supply. The procedure can relieve pain, swelling and irritation safely without scars.