Current News

VMTH Pioneers Interventional Radiology

What's New Image

In this lateral radiograph of a canine head, a stent can be seen in the nasopharyngeal region.

April 4, 2013 - As advances in veterinary medicine continue to improve patient care, surgeons at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) are playing an important role in leading that charge. Several minimally invasive and innovative techniques, collectively included under the specialty of Interventional Radiology (IR), were pioneered at UC Davis, and are now being utilized by other veterinary specialists around the world. The diseases that can be treated with the use of IR are constantly expanding, and—spearheaded by surgeons Dr. Bill Culp and Dr. Michele Steffey—the VMTH is leading the way in these therapies.

“Being one of the largest veterinary hospitals and research facilities in the world, it is important for us to be a leader in the field of Interventional Radiology,” states Dr. Culp. “We are extremely proud of our IR program and the advances that we have made over the last several years. We are continually striving to improve our program with the goal of advancing the level of care that we can provide to patients.”

IR techniques—which utilize specialized equipment such as guidewires, catheters, balloons, and stents to treat a myriad of diseases—hold tremendous potential in the diagnosis and treatment of veterinary patients with cancer and a number of other life-threatening conditions. IR has several important advantages over conventional techniques, including the minimally invasive nature, quicker recovery times in many cases, and the complementary role that it can play with other treatments. As the IR specialty continues to develop in veterinary medicine, research supporting these treatments is emerging at a rapid pace. UC Davis is at the forefront of this research and several clinical trials are underway to thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of an ever-expanding array of IR techniques.

One of the most important aspects of IR, though, is that it often offers an option for cases that previously have lacked options. “These new innovations have the potential to greatly improve the quality of life of our patients,” adds Dr. Culp. “Our goal is to continue to improve and refine these techniques to benefit both our patients and veterinary medicine as a whole.”

Learn more about the Interventional Radiology options available at the VMTH at

Rob Warren, VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer