Studies: Interventional treatments more successful, safer than certain surgeries

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The Society of Interventional Radiology has released four separate studies at its 32nd annual Scientific Meeting this week in Seattle that showed successful, nonsurgical ways to combat bone and kidney tumors, and nonsurgical ways to treat both deep vein thrombosis and an injured or diseased thoracic aorta. Researchers showed that interventional treatment's success rate is as good as surgery's, but without the risk.

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) successfully destroyed 91 percent of benign bone tumors, ending patients' pain immediately. Interventional radiologists tested the nonsurgical technique using CT to visualize the tumor, inserting a needle into the correct area, and administering heat to destroy the nerve endings in the tumor;

  • Research shows that Cryoablation, which freezes and kills tumors, is as effective in treating kidney tumors as the laparoscopic technique. The nonsurgical treatment preserves healthy kidney tissue, has a slightly lower recurrence rate, a shorter hospital stay, no major complications, and costs 59.5 percent less than the laparoscopic treatment;
  • Doctors treated deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with a clot-dissolving drug and clot removal device, which successfully broke down and dissolved the clot, which was then vacuumed out of the vein to clear away the deep vein thrombosis. It has worked on even the largest, most difficult clots and could become the new standard technique in reducing patient risk for pulmonary embolism and disability; and
  • A nonsurgical treatment using stent-grafts to repair an injured or diseased thoracic aorta showed lower mortality rates when compared to surgery. Unlike surgery, the interventional radiology treatment does not interrupt the blood supply, lessening the risk of paraplegia and death.