Glossary simple definitions of terms related to Minimally Invasive, Image-guided Procedures (MIIPs)

ABCDEFGHI • J • KLMNOP • Q • RSTUVWX • Y • Z


A

Ablation — a MIIP used to kill tumors inside the body without having to cut them out with surgery

    • a skinny wand or needle is placed through the skin and into the tumor, which is then destroyed using one of 3 main methods
    1. heating
    2. freezing
    3. alcohol

Abscess — a pocket of pus or infected fluid

Adenocarcinoma — a type of cancer

Aneurysm — abnormal ballooning of the wall of an artery

Angiogram — medical images of a blood vessel; it is made by injecting special dye into the blood vessel through a tiny tube while taking pictures with moving x-rays

Angioplasty — to open a narrowed or blocked blood vessel by stretching the walls of the vessel with a tiny balloon

Aorta — the largest artery in the body, located in the center of the chest and abdomen

Arteriovenous fistula — a direct connection between an artery and a vein that forms by accident after injury to the area or made on purpose by a surgeon for use in hemodialysis (procedure to clean the blood of patients with kidney problems)

Artery — a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body

Ascites — abnormal fluid in the belly

Aspiration — to suck out fluid

Atherosclerosis — hardening and sometimes narrowing of the arteries (also called arteriosclerosis)

 

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B

Balloon — special tool that is inflated to stretch open abnormally narrowed areas inside the body, especially blood vessels

Bile — yellow-green juice made by the liver that flows into the gut to help digest food

Bile duct — tubes in the liver that carry yellow-green juice from the liver to the gut to help digest food

Biliary — relating to bile ducts, which are the tubes in the liver that collect and carry bile to the gut

Biopsy — to take a tiny piece of tissue from the body in order to make a diagnosis

Blood thinner — medication that keeps blood from clotting

Blood transfusion — to give blood or parts of blood to a patient when blood levels are low

BRTO — a treatment for vomiting blood due to dilated veins in the upper belly

 

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C

Carcinoma — type of cancer

Cardiac — related to the heart

Cardiac catheterization — a MIIP for evaluating and treating the heart using a tiny tube placed inside the heart through a pinhole in the groin or arm

CAT scan — type of medical picture that uses special x-rays to make a 3-dimensional pictures through the body so specialized doctors called Radiologists can help diagnose problems (also called a CT scan)

    • Can also be used to help guide MIIPs like lung biopsies

Catheter — a plastic tube placed inside the body so fluid or blood can be drawn off or put into the body

    • Long, tiny catheters designed to travel through blood vessels
    • Single or double barrel tubes can be put into blood vessels and used like large IVs
    • Larger tubes are designed to drain fluid from the body

Catheterization — when a special tube is put inside the body so fluid or blood can be drawn off or put into the body

Catheter-directed thrombolysis — to dissolve a clot in a blood vessel by using a tiny tube to spray clot-busting medication directly into the clot

Central venous catheter — tube placed into a vein, with the tip near the heart in order to give fluid or medicines and draw off blood

Cerebral — related to the brain

Cerebrovascular accident — a stroke or "brain attack"

Chemoembolization

    • a targeted treatment for liver tumors using tiny beads soaked in chemotherapy medicine
    • How is it done?
      • a tiny tube is sent through a pinhole in the groin or arm to the arteries feeding the tumor and is used to deliver the tiny beads directly to the tumor
      • the beads kill the tumor by plugging up the tumor’s arteries and soaking it in chemotherapy over weeks to months
    • What are the advantages of giving the chemotherapy directly to the tumors and not to the whole body?
      • Higher doses to the tumor
      • Fewer side effects to the rest of the body

Chemotherapy

    • medicine designed to kill cancer cells
      • patients can experience side effects when cancer-killing medications kill normal cells
    • can be given to the entire body or directly to a tumor through a MIIP called chemoembolization

Cholecystitis — infection of the gallbladder

Cholecystostomy — tube placed to drain an infected gallbladder

Cirrhosis — scarring of the liver as a result of long-term infection or inflammation

Closure device — a special tool used to close a hole in an artery after a MIIP

Clot — the semisolid jelly form of blood that normally happens to stop bleeding but can also happen under abnormal circumstances and cause problems

Coil — a small piece of special wire used to plug up a blood vessel that is bleeding or is abnormal

Coiling — to place a coil inside a blood vessel to stop bleeding or shut down an abnormal blood vessel

Common bile duct — tube that carries the yellow-green digestive juices made in the liver to the gut to help with digestion

Common femoral artery — artery in the groin, often used as an access point to get into the arteries throughout the body

Common femoral vein — vein in the groin, often used as an access point to get into the veins throughout the body

Contrast — dye that is visible on moving x-rays

Core biopsy — to take a tiny piece of tissue in order to make a diagnosis

Cryoablation

    • a MIIP that uses freezing to kill tumors inside the body without having to cut them out with surgery
    • a skinny wand is placed through the skin and into the tumor then used to destroy the tumor by freezing

CT scan — type of medical picture that uses special x-rays to make a 3 dimensional pictures through body so specialized doctors called Radiologists can help diagnose problems (also called a CAT scan)

    • Can also be used to help guide MIIPs

Cyst — a fluid-filled mass

 

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D

Deep venous thrombosis — blood clot in the main veins of the pelvis, legs or arms

DIPS

    • a MIIP used to treat symptoms from high blood pressure in the liver
    • symptoms of severe high blood pressure in the liver include:
      • vomiting blood
      • fluid in the belly
      • fluid in the chest
    • a tube is placed to divert some blood away from liver to lower the pressure in the liver and relieve symptoms

Dissection — injury to the inside layer of the artery, causing it to peel away and allow blood to get in between

Drainage — to remove fluid

DVT — blood clot in the main veins of the arms, pelvis or legs

 

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E

Edema — swelling

Embolism — blood clot or other abnormal material inside a blood vessel that breaks off and blocks a blood vessel downstream

Embolization — a MIIP used to block off a bleeding or abnormal blood vessel using small particles, coils, or special medical glue

Empyema — an abnormal pocket of infection in the lung

Endarterectomy — surgical procedure to treat hardening and narrowing of an artery

Endograft — a special tube made of woven metal wires and fabric used to treat abnormal ballooning of the aorta, the largest artery in the body, so it will not burst and cause life-threatening bleeding

Epistaxis — nose bleed

Ethanol ablation

    • a MIIP used to kill tumors inside the body without having to cut them out with surgery
    • a skinny needle is placed through the skin and into the tumor, then alcohol is injected into the tumor to destroy it

EVAR — a MIIP used to treat abnormal ballooning of the aorta, the main artery in the belly, by placing a special tube made of woven metal wires and fabric

 

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F

Fibroid — abnormal growth in the wall of a woman’s uterus, or womb, that is not cancer but can cause symptoms including pressure, pain, and fullness

Filter (also known as IVC filter)

    • small wire device placed in the vein of the belly and designed to trap blood clots traveling from the legs and pelvis before they can reach the lungs
      • blood clots in the lungs can cause life-threatening shortness of breath
    • a tube is placed through the vein in the neck or the groin and into the vein in the belly, where the filter is deployed, much like an umbrella opening up
    • many filters can be removed through a pinhole in the neck once they are no longer needed

Fine needle aspiration — to use a needle to take a tiny pieces of tissue in order to make a diagnosis

Fistula — an abnormal connection between two things - there are 3 different kinds of fistulas:

    1. a direct connection between an artery and a vein that forms after injury to the area or is made by a surgeon for use in hemodialysis (procedure to clean the blood of patients with kidney problems)
    2. an abnormal connection between two hollow organs in the body
    3. an abnormal connection between a hollow organ and the skin

Fluoroscopy — moving x-rays

Focal biopsy — to take a tiny piece of suspicious tissue in order to make a diagnosis

 

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G

Gallbladder — small bag in the right upper abdomen that stores the yellow-green juice that the liver makes to help digest food

Gallstones

    • abnormal, solid “stones” that form inside the gallbladder
    • can cause pain with eating or block the gallbladder and cause infection

Gastric — relating to the stomach

Gastrostomy (also known as a gastrostomy tube)

    • a feeding tube
    • placed through a MIIP through the skin and directly into the stomach

Glue

    • medical grade material used to plug up blood vessels to stop blood flow in them
    • used to treat bleeding, abnormal blood vessels, or blood vessels feeding abnormal tissue
    • it is squirted out of a tiny tube as a liquid but hardens quickly into a solid

 

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H

Hematocrit — blood level; when blood levels are low, a patient can feel tired and look pale

Hematoma — collection of blood that happens after bleeding inside the body or under the skin

Hemodialysis — procedure to clean the blood of patients with kidney problems

Hemoglobin — blood level; when blood levels are low, a patient can feel tired and look pale

Hemoptysis — coughing up blood

Hemorrhage — to bleed a lot

Hemostasis – stopped bleeding

Hepatic — relating to the liver

Hepatocellular carcinoma — cancer of the liver

Hydrocele — abnormal fluid in the scrotum, around the testicle

    • this condition can be treated by a MIIP where a tiny tube placed through a pinhole in the groin is used to shut down these abnormal veins with materials such as coils

Hydronephrosis — abnormally dilated kidney, usually due to a blockage so the kidney cannot drain normally

Hydronephroureter — abnormally dilated kidney and tube draining the kidney, usually due to blockage of the tube draining the kidney

 

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I

Image-guided — using medical pictures to see inside the body from the outside while performing a MIIP

Infarction

    • when a tissue or organ dies due to lack of blood flow
    • in the heart, it is called a heart attack
    • in the brain, it is called a stroke or "brain attack"

Inferior vena cava — (also known as IVC) the biggest vein in the body, located in the belly

Inferior vena cava filter (also known as IVC filter or simply filter)

    • small wire device placed in the IVC, the biggest vein of the belly, and designed to trap blood clots traveling from the legs and pelvis before they can reach the lungs
      • blood clots in the lungs can cause life-threatening shortness of breath
    • a tube is placed through the vein in the neck or the groin and into the vein in the belly, where the filter is deployed, much like an umbrella opening up
    • Many filters can be removed through a pinhole in the neck once they are no longer needed

Internal jugular vein — vein in the neck

Interventional cardiology — specialized doctor who performs MIIPs in the heart

Interventional radiology — specialized doctor who performs MIIPs throughout the body

Intracranial hemorrhage — bleeding inside the brain

Intrathecal chemotherapy

    • Treatment for cancer in the spinal cord
    • A MIIP to give cancer medicine through a tiny needle, directly into the fluid around the spinal cord

 

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K

Kidney stones — abnormal hard “stones” that form in the kidney and can cause pain or blockage

Kyphoplasty — a MIIP where special cement is injected into a broken bone in the spine in order to stabilize it, restore height, and treat pain

 

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L

Liver — important organ located in the right upper abdomen. It has many jobs, including making bile to help in digestion, using nutrients from food to make energy, and cleaning toxins from the blood.

Lumbar puncture — a MIIP used to draw fluid from around the spinal cord, usually for testing purposes

Lymph node — a normal part of the immune system that can swell in response to infection

 

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M

May Thurner Syndrome — when the left leg vein is narrowed by the right leg artery crossing over it, causing swelling in the left leg

Medical imaging — special pictures that allow doctors to see inside the body from the outside

Melena — dark blood in the stool

Metastasis — tumor that has spread to a new site from where it started

Metastatic cancer — a cancer that has spread outside of where it started

Microcatheter — a tiny plastic tube used during MIIPs to reach tiny blood vessels

Microwave ablation

    • a MIIP that uses microwave energy to kill tumors inside the body without having to cut them out with surgery
    • the microwave energy is delivered at the end of a skinny wand placed into the tumor through a pinhole in the skin

Minimally invasive — a procedure or surgery performed through a pinhole or a keyhole instead of through open surgery, which requires larger incisions

Minimally invasive, image-guided procedure (MIIP) — a procedure performed through a pinhole using medical pictures to see inside the body from the outside; MIIPs allow patients to get back to their lives sooner due to their short recovery times and few side effects

MRI — type of medical picture that uses magnet energy to make a 3 dimensional pictures through the body so specialized doctors called Radiologists can help diagnose problems

    • Can also be used to help guide MIIPs
    • Before you have an MRI, tell your doctor if
      • You have metal in your body
      • You get uncomfortable in tight spaces (claustrophobia)

 

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N

Nephrostomy

    • a MIIP used to drain urine from the kidney
    • usually done when the kidney cannot drain naturally due to a blockage
    • a small tube is placed through the skin of the flank and into the kidney then connected to a bag to collect the urine

Nonfocal biopsy

    • A MIIP to take a tiny piece of tissue like the liver or kidney
    • Done to help doctors figure out why an organ is not working well

Nutcracker Syndrome — when the left kidney vein is compressed by nearby arteries, causing blood to back up and find alternative veins to leave the kidney

 

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O

Obstruction — blockage

Off-target embolization

    • Rare complication that happens when particles or other materials used during a MIIP to plug up blood vessels (called embolization) flow to other blood vessels outside of the treatment zone
    • Rarely it can result in symptoms related to the areas affected

 

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P

Paget Schroeder Syndrome — Condition of arm swelling caused by narrowing of a vein in the chest

Paracentesis

    • a MIIP used to drain abnormal fluid in the abdomen, called ascites
    • Can be done for patient comfort or to look for infection

Pelvic congestion syndrome

    • condition in women caused by abnormal, dilated veins in the pelvis that allow blood and fluid to back up and cause pressure and pain
    • this condition can be treated by a MIIP where a tiny tube placed through a pinhole in the groin is used to treat these abnormal veins with materials that shuts them down

Percutaneous ethanol ablation (also known as ethanol ablation)

    • a MIIP used to kill tumors inside the body without having to cut them out with surgery
    • a skinny needle is placed through the skin and into the tumor then alcohol is injected into the tumor

Peritoneum — lining inside the belly

Peritonitis — infection inside the belly

PICC — a special IV that usually enters the arm and ends in a vein near the heart so the heart can pump medicines to the whole body

Platelets — part of blood that helps stop bleeding and promote healing

Pleura — lining around the lung

Pleural effusion — abnormal fluid around the lung

Pneumothorax — when the lung deflates or collapses

Port-a-catheter

    • a device that allows intermittent access to the veins over months to years without having to put temporary IVs each time
    • a MIIP is used to place a small reservoir under the skin on the chest and connect it to a tiny tube that goes under the skin and into a vein near the heart

Portal hypertension — high blood pressure in the liver

Portal vein — vein that takes blood rich in nutrients from the organs of digestion to the liver

Post embolization syndrome

    • Uncommon, temporary side effect of a MIIP used to block off the blood vessels feeding an organ, tumor or growth
    • Symptoms including fever and pain, which can be treated with medications

Pseudoaneurysm — a contained area of bleeding around a damaged or burst blood vessel

Pulmonary artery — blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs, where the blood can pick up oxygen for the body

Pulmonary embolism — a blood clot in the arteries of the lungs, which can cause life-threatening shortness of breath

 

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R

Radioembolization

    • A targeted treatment for liver tumors using tiny radioactive beads
    • How is it done?
      • a tiny tube is sent through a pinhole in the groin or arm to the arteries feeding the tumor and is used to deliver the tiny beads directly to the tumor
      • the beads kill the tumor by exposing it to radiation over weeks to months
    • What are the advantages of giving the radiation directly to the tumors and not to the whole body?
      • Higher doses to the tumor
      • Fewer side effects to the rest of the body

Radiofrequency ablation

    • a MIIP that uses radio wave energy to kill tumors inside the body without having to cut them out with surgery
    • the radio wave energy is delivered at the end of a skinny wand placed directly into the tumor through a pinhole in the skin

Radiologist — doctor who specializes in understanding and interpreting medical images in order to help diagnose problems

Recanalization — reopening of a blocked tube naturally or through a MIIP

Red blood cells — main part of the blood responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the tissues

Renal — related to the kidneys

Renal cell carcinoma — type of kidney tumor

 

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S

Sacrum — bone of pelvis, along the back

Sacroplasty — a MIIP where special cement is injected into a broken bone in the pelvis in order to stabilize it and treat pain

Sepsis — severe infection of the blood affecting the entire body

Seroma — an abnormal fluid collection that forms after surgery or injury

Sheath — a small plastic tube placed into a blood vessel during a MIIP to serve as a portal, or doorway for access during the procedure

    • It limits bleeding while protecting the blood vessel from injury each time tiny tubes and wires are placed and removed during the MIIP

Splenic — relating to the spleen, an organ in the upper left abdomen

Stenosis — a narrowing in a blood vessel or tube within the body

Stent — a wove metal tube that is used to open a narrowing or blockage inside the body

Stenting — to put a woven metal tube into a narrowing or blockage in the body in order to open it up

Stroke — brain attack

    • when part of the brain dies because it does not get enough blood flow
    • a brain attack can result from
      • a blood vessel getting blocked by hardening of the arteries
      • a blood vessel getting blocked from a blood clot
      • a blood vessel bursting due to an abnormal ballooning (aneurysm)

 

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T

TACE — a way to treat liver tumors by sending tiny beads soaked in chemotherapy directly to the tumors through the arteries that feed them

TARE — (also called radioembolization) a way to treat liver tumors by sending tiny radioactive beads directly to the tumors through the arteries that feed them

Thoracentesis — a MIIP to drain abnormal fluid around the lungs in the chest

Thrombectomy — surgery to remove an abnormal blood clot

Thrombosis — clotting of blood

Thrombolysis — a MIIP to dissolve a blood clot by spraying clot-busting medicine directly into the clot

TIPS

    • a MIIP used to treat symptoms from high blood pressure in the liver
      • symptoms of severe high blood pressure in the liver include:
        • vomiting blood
        • fluid in the belly
        • fluid in the chest
    • a tube is placed to divert some blood away from liver to lower the pressure in the liver and relieve symptoms

Tunneled catheter

    • tube placed with the tip in a vein near the heart in order to give fluid or medicines and draw off blood for weeks to years
    • the tube is first tunneled a few inches under the skin away from the vein in order to lower the chances of infection

Transfusion — to give blood or parts of blood when blood levels are low

Tumor — an abnormal growth in the body that may or not be cancer

 


 

U

Ultrasound — a type of medical imaging that uses sound waves to see inside the body to help diagnose problems and also help guide MIIPs

Ureter — the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder

Urinoma — an abnormal urine leak inside the body

Uterine artery embolization (UAE)

    • a MIIP used to treat uterine fibroids by cutting off their blood supply from the inside
    • a tiny tube is sent through a pinhole the groin to the arteries that feed the fibroids
    • then the arteries feeding the fibroids are plugged up with tiny particles delivered through the tiny tube to cut off their blood supply
    • the fibroids starve and shrink over time
    • UAE can be done as an alternative to surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy) or remove the fibroid (myomectomy)

Uterine fibroid — An abnormal growth in the wall of a woman’s uterus, or womb, that is not cancer but can cause symptoms including pressure, pain, and fullness

 

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V

Valves — structures in the heart or in veins that allow blood to flow in one direction and not backwards

Varices — abnormally stretched out veins, often with areas of ballooning

Varicose veins — abnormally stretched out veins, often with areas of ballooning; they are most noticeable when they occur on the legs but they can occur throughout the body

Vascular — relating to blood vessels

Vascular surgery — surgery on blood vessels

Vein — a blood vessel that carries blood away from the body and to the heart

Venogram — picture of the inside of a vein made by injecting dye and taking moving x-rays

Vertebra — back bone that supports the spine

Vertebroplasty — a MIIP where special cement is injected into a broken bone in the spine in order to stabilize it and treat pain

 

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W

White blood cells — part of the blood that fights infection

Wire — special long, skinny metal or plastic wire used in MIIPs to help reach parts of the body

 

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X

X-ray — 2 dimensional medical picture that allows doctors to see inside the body 

 

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