The Trust is a recognised national leader in the provision of interventional radiology services. A very wide range of procedures is undertaken, some of which are complex and highly specialised. Services are currently provided from 3 interventional radiology theatres, located within the Radiology department at Hull Royal Infirmary. The service has been awarded an exemplar status for vascular and non vascular intervention by the British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR) which is only one of nine centres in the country.

Interventional Radiology Theatres (IRT), HRI

Both vascular and neuro-radiology interventional procedures are performed in the interventional radiology theatres (IRT) at HRI covering a large geographic area from York in the north, Scarborough on the east coast and Scunthorpe and Grimsby on the south side of the Humber. Hull is part of a hub and spoke network for vascular IR services, with IR patients being transferred to Hull from Scunthorpe and Grimsby.

In addition to providing a wide and varied range of vascular IR procedures such as angioplasties, stenting, fistulograms, embolisation, EVAR and sclerotherapy, an acute 24/7 vascular interventional radiology service is provided. This supports the extensive emergency trauma service and any other specialty in the Trust requiring IR out of hours including procedures for post partum haemorrhages, GI bleeds and ruptured aortic aneurysms.

The vascular interventional radiology service is one of 2 national centres stated within the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Foundation published documentation for the treatment of pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in the treatment of HHT.

Neuro intervention is also a major part of the IR theatre work and procedures such as cerebral angiography, neuro coiling and flow diversion for intracranial aneurysms and embolisations for tumours, AVM and arteriovenous fistula (AVF) are regularly undertaken. Spinal intervention, vertebroplasties and nerve root blocks are also carried out regularly.

The non-acute site at Castle Hill provides oncology, gastro intestinal (GI), cardiology and cardiothoracic services and much of the non acute surgery, with predominately non-vascular intervention being undertaken at this site.

There are 3 IR rooms at HRI which are supported by the Radiology Day Unit for all patients needing radiology recovery post procedure. The Day Unit is a specifically designed 9-bedded area, split to accommodate a variation in the female / male case mix for privacy and dignity with an additional 2 cubicles for flexible use. In addition to the bedded area there is a seated post recovery area and consenting rooms.

One of the 3 IR theatres is a hybrid angiographic theatre suitable for EVARs and “theatre type” work , one is a bi-plane neuro angiographic theatre and one is a single plane angiographic theatre.

What is an interventional theatre procedure?

Procedures undertaken in IRT may be diagnostic such as an angiography or venography in which a contrast agent (a clear substance used to enhance the contrast of structures or fluids within the body) is injected into the bloodstream. X-ray images are then taken “live” and displayed on monitors for the doctor to see if arteries are narrowed or blocked.

Interventional procedures can also be undertaken in which your condition will be treated. Many procedures involve either unblocking blood vessels that are narrowed or sometimes purposefully blocking blood vessels to solve the problem.

The majority of the interventional procedures (both vascular and neuro) are carried out by inserting a fine plastic tube called a catheter into the artery, often in the groin, and the treatment is undertaken through this catheter. The majority of treatments are undertaken under local anaesthetic as they do not hurt. Some procedures of course will be undertaken using sedation and or general anesthesia depending on the type of procedure and the individual patient.

Some procedures can be performed as day case procedures while other patients will need to stay in hospital overnight.