The Kirklin Clinic opens area’s first outpatient interventional radiology clinic

The city’s first outpatient interventional radiology clinic opens at The Kirklin Clinic to meet increasing needs of patients in Birmingham.

andrew gunn wAndrew J. Gunn, M.D., assistant professor of radiologyConditions like malignant tumors that once required traditional surgery are now being treated by interventional radiology at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The ambulatory clinic — a first for the city of Birmingham — supports the most cutting-edge therapies offered in central Alabama with highly trained physicians who use sophisticated imaging to guide minimally invasive techniques.

“Expanding interventional radiology services to The Kirklin Clinic will have a huge positive impact on UAB patients,” said Cheri Canon, M.D., the Witten-Stanley Endowed Chair of Radiology in UAB’s School of Medicine. “It will allow for improved peri-procedural care with a more restorative approach to the patient and their disease. It will also provide more convenience for patients and their families. Our goal is to provide the best and most efficient care for our patients and increase ease of access for our clinical colleagues.”

Interventional radiology is a specialty within radiology that provides less-invasive techniques for diagnosing and treating a broad range of health issues. The interventional radiology team, led by Ahmed M. Kamel Abdel Aal, M.D., Ph.D., uses state-of-the-art imaging techniques including fluoroscopy, ultrasound and computed tomography (CT scans) to perform a variety of innovative interventional procedures. Many patients may benefit from the therapeutic treatment options interventional radiology provides.

Andrew J. Gunn, M.D., assistant professor of radiology, says interventional radiology has evolved during the past 25 years, especially in the area of outpatient and minimally invasive care, and it continues to play an integral role in comprehensive patient care delivered at UAB and The Kirklin Clinic. “Because of our continued advancements in interventional radiology in the past 10 years, the practice of seeing patients on an outpatient basis has rapidly grown,” Gunn said.

Gunn has worked as an attending interventional radiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and has written and lectured on patient-centered care in radiology. He specializes in treating cancer through minimally-invasive techniques such as chemoembolization, radioembolization and ablation.

“There is not another interventional radiology group in the surrounding area that provides the type of procedures — at the same volume and with the level of expertise — and offers these procedures as efficiently and safely as we do.”

“Ablation is a minimally-invasive technique when a needle is placed through the skin where the tumor is located, and then freezing or burning the tumor to kill it,” Gunn said. Techniques such as ablation can be replacements for patients who cannot or do not want to undergo traditional surgery.

Gunn says these procedures provide an approach that is safer and quicker, and comes with less complications than traditional surgery, and are just as effective.

“The interventional radiology team and our technology at UAB offers minimally-invasive options to treat a wide variety of diseases in the body,” Gunn said.

At The Kirklin Clinic, patient care is the main focus at the interventional radiology outpatient clinic. Gunn says this clinic enables the interventional radiology team at UAB to manage more patients.

“The support from physicians at UAB is what makes our outpatient interventional radiology unparalleled in this region,” Gunn said. “There is not another interventional radiology group in the surrounding area that provides the type of procedures — at the same volume and with the level of expertise — and offers these procedures as efficiently and safely as we do.”

Interventional radiology at UAB’s Heart and Vascular Center sees 30-35 patients per-day. Six-to-nine procedures are conducted every day at The Kirklin Clinic’s outpatient interventional radiology clinic, and 10-14 patients are seen three times per-week in a clinical setting to provide consults and follow-up.

The clinic is located on the third floor of The Kirklin Clinic and is staffed by a team of seven physicians and three physician assistants who specialize in delivering safe, effective and compassionate care to patients using high-tech imaging and miniaturized instruments.

Visit UAB’s Interventional Radiology website for more information, or call 205-801-4647 to schedule an appointment.