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University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
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source for discovery, education and patient care.
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Interventional radiologists are physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They offer the most in-depth knowledge of the least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience across all specialties. They use X-rays, MRI and other imaging to advance a catheter in the body, usually in an artery, to treat at the source of the disease internally. As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used in the legs to treat peripheral arterial disease, interventional radiologists pioneered minimally invasive modern medicine.
Today many conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology treatments offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery.
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We need current blood work such as Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Prothrombin Time (PT)/International Normalized Ratio (INR) done no more than 60 days before your procedure. You must have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, but you can take normal medications with a sip of water in the morning (but no blood thinners should be taken).
If you're taking Coumadin (Warfarin), please consult with your referring physician before your appointment, as it may be necessary for you to stop taking this medication 5 days before your appointment. And please let the interventional doctor know on the day of your appointment.
If you're taking any other blood thinners then we'll give you more specific instructions.
For all procedures, you'll need to make sure someone can drive you home and stay with you for the night after your procedure. Please confirm with a family member or friend if you need someone to stay with you for the night.
When you arrive at the Medical Imaging Department, check in at the reception desk.
The receptionist will ask you:
Please arrive a full half hour before your appointment so we can process your paperwork. If you are late, your appointment may be subject to rescheduling. Please also bring a list of the medications you are taking.
When you arrive at the Medical Imaging Reception desk and after you have checked in, you will be brought to the Medical Imaging Day Unit, where a nurse will go over your health history with you and insert an IV if it's needed for the procedure. The radiologist will normally obtain consent for the procedure at this time (if they haven't already at a previous consult).
For some Interventional procedures, Contrast Media may be used during your procedure. This contrast makes your blood vessels show up in the scan and can provide more information for the radiologist. If you've had a previous contrast dye reaction (including itching, sneezing or hives), you'll need pre-medication, and your referring doctor will have to give you a prescription. Please take the medication according to the instructions for your own safety.
Next, you'll be taken into the procedure room and will have to lie down on an x-ray table. You'll be asked to lie down on the x-ray table in one of several positions depending on the procedure and body part involved.
The nurse will then place a blood pressure cuff, ECG leads, and an oxygen saturation probe on you to monitor you throughout the procedure.
You may be given an analgesic and sedation throughout your procedure to keep you comfortable.
The area on your body in which the procedure is being done will be exposed and the skin will be cleansed to prevent infection.
After the procedure, you'll be taken back to the Medical Imaging Day Unit to recover, and you'll stay there for about an hour to 4 hours depending on what procedure has been done.
You'll then get a light refreshment or if you prefer, a family member can get you something to eat from the food court. When you're discharged and ready to go home, we'll give you a pamphlet with some instructions for discharge.
After the procedure, a radiologist writes a report on what was found and sends it to your electronic health record. Then your doctor can review it and give you the results. For most of the procedures we perform, the results are provided by the radiologist on the same day as the procedure (other than biopsies).
The length of your appointment will depend on what kind of procedure you are having.
We do our best to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by emergencies or longer than anticipated procedures. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You may also receive further information related to your procedure during your appointment with your doctor and our nurses.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.