STHS McAllen launches interventional radiology lab for enhanced minimally invasive procedure options for patients

Featuring a first-of-its-kind-in-the-Valley 3D interventional system, the new lab offers a powerful set of tools to help diagnose and treat patients

Technological advancements have helped improve surgery standards throughout the healthcare industry, with an ongoing surge in minimally invasive surgery cases being reported in the U.S. due to their lower risk of complications and faster recovery time. And now, in most cases, Rio Grande Valley residents who must undergo certain common procedures such as a thrombolysis or biopsy can now have them performed at South Texas Health System McAllen with a quick turnaround time, in the facility’s new interventional radiology lab.

“Nearly all of the procedures performed in our interventional radiology lab are outpatient, meaning patients can go home the same day,” says Charlie Aguirre, Director of Imaging Services, South Texas Health System McAllen and South Texas Health System Heart. “The typical recovery time is less than six hours. A longer recovery period would be due to accessing an artery, which requires longer monitoring compared to other nonvascular procedures.” 

Whether you are in need of an angioplasty to repair a blood vessel, stenting to treat a weak artery or embolization to block blood flow to cancer cells, South Texas Health System McAllen’s Advanced Imaging Center’s interventional radiology lab now offers patients a minimally invasive option to minimize risk to the patient while improving health outcomes. Performed under a local anesthetic or modern conscious sedation, the procedures have less risk than they would with traditional surgery.

Featuring the Canon Alphenix Sky+ system – the first machine of its kind in the Valley – the new interventional radiology lab allows doctors to perform minimally invasive surgeries through small incisions in the body while using diagnostic imaging tools like CT scan, ultrasound, MRI and fluoroscopy, to guide their procedures.

The system was designed with both the patient and clinician in mind. It combines multiple technologies to help optimize workflow, minimize patient X-ray exposure and provide an unprecedented range of patient access and coverage. Using high-definition flat panel technology, the device produces high-quality images, enabling clinicians to see finer details during the interventional radiology procedures, which may be performed during an inpatient or outpatient visit.

“By having a procedure completed in the interventional radiology lab, a patient’s recovery time is shortened. Most patients are able to go home the same day they receive treatment,” says Aguirre. “Along with spending less time in the hospital, they’ll have less pain, due to the smaller incision, and they should have a faster recovery time.”

Since launching the interventional radiology lab this summer, South Texas Health System McAllen has recorded nearly 50 cases so far, including several emergency cases.

“Interventional radiology is crucial for a hospital system like ours,” says Aguirre. “It provides immediate coverage because we do offer 24-hour service in case of emergencies. If we need to perform an embolization, we can quickly perform that procedure here.”

Interventional radiology procedures are available at South Texas Health System McAllen, located at 301 W Expressway 83, McAllen, TX 78503. For more information or to make an appointment, call the Diagnostic Imaging Services Department at 956-994-2000. 

About South Texas Health System 

South Texas Health System is a multi-facility healthcare system serving patients throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The system includes four acute care facility campuses with specialties in pediatrics, heart and vascular services, maternity and women’s health and trauma services. Inpatient and outpatient treatment for behavioral health needs and addictive disorders is also provided through the system’s South Texas Health System Behavioral facility. South Texas Health System is affiliated with the South Texas Clinical Partners ACO, Prominence Health Plan, and Cornerstone Regional Hospital. The system operates an advanced Level II Trauma Center at South Texas Health System McAllen, the first and only freestanding children’s facility and pediatric ER at South Texas Health System Children’s, the region’s only freestanding heart hospital and specialized cardiac ER at South Texas Health System Heart, and six freestanding emergency rooms located in and around Weslaco, Mission, Edinburg, McAllen and Alamo. For more information about the system and its comprehensive services, please visit

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