Radiology – Interventions
Our outpatient procedure unit offers fluid aspirations, drainages, joint injections, spinal procedures, and other interventions, with all associated services being performed within this one suite.
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Our team includes highly-trained physicians who are board certified and subspecialty trained. They are assisted by a dedicated support team that gives personal care to each patient including radiology assistants, nursing staff, technologists and sonographers. Our institutional nursing staff has earned Magnet designation for nursing excellence and organizational quality and safety.
We provide procedures and treatments for both children and adults including ablations, biopsies, fluid aspirations, drainages, and joint injections. This includes procedures within our subspecialties of:
All interventional procedures and treatments are done with the aid of X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound. These image-guided tests are safer and more accurate.
Before your procedure, be sure you know:
- The name of the test or procedure and why you are having it
- The risks and benefits involved
- When and where you are to have the test or procedure
- When and how you will get the results
- If the procedure is covered by your insurance or if you will have to pay for it yourself.
If you are having sedation or general anesthesia, you may be asked to fast for a period of time prior to your procedure. Please talk with your physician or our nurses before your appointment so you know what you must do to prepare.
The doctor will explain the procedure and answer any questions that you might have. He or she will also explain the risks and benefits as well as the alternatives to the procedure.
You will then be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the procedure. Read it carefully and ask about anything that is not clear.
You may also be asked to sign a sedation consent form. This is for having moderate (conscious) sedation, also called twilight sleep. Medication such as Midazolam (versed) and fentanyl produce this state, in which you are cooperative but slightly drowsy. It’s important to know that you will be conscious with this sedation.
Your doctor will ask several brief questions about your medical history. He or she may also do a short physical exam to ensure you are in good health. You may have blood or other diagnostic tests.
Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse about any medicines you are taking. That includes supplements and over-the-counter drugs as well as prescription ones. You should also let them know if:
- You are pregnant or may be pregnant.
- You are sensitive or allergic to any medicine, latex, anesthetic or other medical substance.
- You have a bleeding disorder or are taking a blood thinner, aspirin or another medicine that affects blood clotting. You may have to stop taking any drugs that affect clotting. Talk to your referring physician or our nurses at 717-531-8521 ext. 284708 before stopping any medications.
If you get a sedative before your procedure you may need someone to drive you home afterward.
Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor’s practices. For example, some people are walk-in patients while others have a short outpatient stay at Hershey Medical Center. Also, some biopsies are done with a local anesthetic to numb the area while others are done with heavy sedation or general anesthesia.
In most cases a needle biopsy that is done through the skin follows these steps:
- You will be greeted by a nurse and taken to a bed. Walk-in patients go to the biopsy suite. As a safety precaution, your nurse will ask you to confirm your name and the reason for your visit.
- Your nurse will ask about any allergies you have. Please bring a list of any medicines you are allergic to. You’ll also be asked to remove any jewelry, clothing or other items that may interfere with the procedure. If you remove clothing you’ll get a gown to wear.
- If you are having conscious sedation or anesthesia, an intravenous (IV) line may be started in your arm or hand. You will lie down and be positioned so that the doctor can easily reach the area to biopsy. An ultrasound or CT scan may be used to locate the biopsy site, which will be marked on your skin.
- Prior to the biopsy you will be involved in a “Timeout.” This is an added safety step to verify your identity. It also ensures that we all agree that the correct procedure is being performed.
- If you are having sedation or general anesthesia, your heart and breathing will be monitored. The skin over the biopsy site will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
- You will feel a needle stick when the local anesthetic is injected. This may feel like a brief sting. In some cases a tiny incision is made where the doctor will insert the biopsy needle. The incision is small and will not require stitches.
- You may feel discomfort or pressure during the biopsy. Any pain should be mild and bearable. Please let your doctor or nurse know if you feel severe pain so medicine may be given if necessary to control it.
- When the biopsy sample is taken, the biopsy needle will be withdrawn. If there is any bleeding at the site, firm pressure may be applied for a few minutes.
While many patients will be able to leave right after the procedure, those who need moderate sedation or anesthesia can recover in our six-bed unit. This unit is staffed by registered nurses dedicated to radiology. Your nurse will make sure you don’t have any complications and feel well enough to leave.Your biopsy sample will be sent to the pathologist for review. He or she will first check to make sure the sample contains enough tissue to analyze. This helps ensure that you won’t have to return for another biopsy. The pathologist then analyzes the sample and sends the results to the referring physician.