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Health Services

Interventional Radiology

In interventional radiology, imaging techniques are used to guide radiologic procedures or enable minimally invasive surgery. The result is a safer, less invasive procedure with quicker recovery times than conventional surgery. 

At Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Centers, we perform the following interventional radiology procedures as well as many others:


Varicose and Spider Veins

The most common cause of varicose veins is weak or damaged valves in the veins that causes blood to reflux or flow backward and pool in the veins. (Spider veins are similar, but smaller). The reflux occurs within the greater saphenous vein in the thigh and affects the varicose veins in the lower body.

  • Symptoms — Rope-like and thickened veins. Visible red or bluish color. Leg pain, fatigue and heaviness that worsens throughout the day. Patients can experience pain even when veins are not visible.
  • Intervention: Vein Ablation Treatment — A minimally invasive, one-hour procedure requiring only a local anesthetic and a thin catheter the size of a spaghetti strand. The catheter is image-guided to the greater saphenous vein. Laser energy is applied, sealing the vein closed. The varicose branch vein shrinks, and healthier veins take over the blood flow.
  • Benefits — Immediate relief of symptoms and return to normal activity. Only minor soreness and no scarring. Less pain, faster recovery and lower recurrence compared with traditional “vein stripping” or ligation surgeries.


Uterine Fibroid Embolizations

Uterine fibroids are benign growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. They rarely develop into cancer and often produce no symptoms, but some people may require treatment if the fibroids cause significant pain and bleeding, or if they pose other health threats.

  • Symptoms — Sharp pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent urination.
  • Intervention: Uterine Fibroid Embolization — A minimally invasive one-hour procedure performed with light sedation and a local anesthetic. The interventional radiologist uses X-rays and other imaging techniques to guide a small catheter through the artery, in the groin to the uterine area. An injected medical agent blocks blood flow to the fibroid, causing it to shrink.
  • Benefits — Elimination of symptoms. Improved recovery and long-term outcomes, compared with a hysterectomy. Avoiding a hysterectomy is especially important for women who intend to get pregnant.


For more information, please contact your physician or our main Radiology (Diagnostic Imaging) office at 847.535.6300.

Please check our accepted health insurance plans.

Learn more about Imaging (Radiology)


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Liyuan Yu, MD
Board-certified Diagnostic Radiologist and Neuroradiologist