I am an interventional oncologist, a type of interventional radiologist who uses image-guided, minimally invasive techniques to perform procedures to treat cancer. Rather than making a surgical incision, I perform procedures using miniaturized instruments, many of which are small enough to be used through a needle or catheter. Because of these innovations, many of the procedures I perform use only sedation, without the need of a breathing tube or an overnight stay.
The first experience most patients have with an interventional radiologist is during either a biopsy (to diagnose cancer) or a mediport placement (to begin chemotherapy). Unlike open surgical biopsies, which require a surgical incision, the biopsies I perform are done using a tiny acupuncture-like needle. Nearly all patients go home the same day, and a diagnosis is usually made within two to three days after the biopsy. During mediport placement, I work with each individual’s body and needs to place a mediport that allows effective delivery of chemotherapy through a small, cosmetically pleasing device.