Interventional radiology is critical in the management of many conditions involving the liver.  They can best be categorized into management of biliary disease, portal hypertension, and liver cancer (both primary and metastatic).  In each of these areas, interventional radiologists at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital can perform life-saving procedures to treat this wide spectrum of conditions.

The long term effects of liver disease lead to the hardening of the liver called cirrhosis.  As this condition develops, the liver loses its ability to filter the blood effectively forcing the body to create alternate pathways called varices.  The alternate channels and increased portal pressure can lead to life threatening bleeding, fluid on the lung and stomach (hepatic hydrothorax and ascites), and confusion.  The creation of a liver bypass or TIPS can relieve this pressure and treat some of these conditions.  In those unable to have a TIPS the channels (varices) can be obliterated without bypassing the liver with a procedure called BRTO (balloon assisted retrograde transvenous obliteration of varices).  Whether the cause is alcoholic cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis, or Budd-Chiari, interventional radiologists can treat the short and long term complications of the disease.

The obstruction of bile ducts or the gallbladder can be from cancer or non-cancerous causes such as stones from the gallbladder, enlarged lymph nodes, or as a result of surgery.  These obstructions can present as life threatening infections (cholangitis or acute cholecystitis) or as yellowing of the skin (jaundice).  Interventional radiologists can use a variety of procedures to diagnose and treat these conditions with biopsy, drainage, balloon dilation and stenting.

Liver cancer can arise within the liver itself or it can spread there from other parts of the body.  In both cases, interventional radiologists can both diagnose and treat these tumors using minimally invasive techniques and treatments that have limited side effects.

Portal vein clot or thrombosis can be caused by or cause portal hypertension and lead to invasive treatments and surgeries or can prevent patients from receiving other life-saving procedures.  Interventional radiologists can reopen clotted portal veins allowing patients to undergo liver transplant, or to prevent the development of portal hypertension.

For further information or to schedule a consultation with an interventional radiologist, please contact the interventional radiology department at 202-444-5478.

Portal Hypertension

The long term effects of cirrhosis leads to the hardening of the liver called cirrhosis.  As this condition develops, the liver loses its ability to filter the blood effectively forcing the body to create alternate pathways called varicies.  The alternate channels and increased portal pressure can lead to life threatening bleeding, fluid on the lung and stomach (hepatic hydrothorax and ascites), and confusion.  The creation of a liver bypass or TIPS can relieve this pressure and treat some of these conditions.  In those unable to have a TIPS the channels (varicies) can be obliterated without bypassing the liver with a procedure called BRTO (balloon assisted retrograde transvenous obliteration of varicies).  Whether the cause is alcoholic cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver, hepatitis, or Budd-Chiari, we can treat the short and long term complications of the disease.

Biliary Disease

The obstruction of bile ducts or the gallbladder can be from cancer or non-cancerous causes such as stones from the gallbladder, enlarged lymph nodes, or as a result of surgery.  These obstructions can present as life threatening infections (cholangitis or acute cholecystitis) or as yellowing of the skin (jaundice).  Interventional radiologists can use a variety of procedures to diagnose and treat these conditions with biopsy, drainage, balloon dilation and stenting.

Cancer of the Liver

Liver cancer can arise within the liver itself or it can spread there from other parts of the body.  In both cases, interventional radiologists can both diagnose and treat these tumors using minimally invasive techniques and treatments that have limited side effects.

Portal vein thrombosis

Portal vein clot or thrombosis can be caused by or cause portal hypertension and lead to invasive treatments and surgeries or can prevent patients from receiving other life saving procedures.  Interventional radiologists can reopen clotted portal veins allowing patients to undergo liver transplant, or to prevent the development of portal hypertension.

Make an Appointment

For further information or to schedule a consultation with an interventional oncologist, please contact the interventional radiology department at

202-444-5478