Research & Publications
I am a board-certified Interventional Radiologist, which means I perform image-guided minimally invasive surgical procedures. These procedures are done by passing a specialized needle or catheter into a small hole in the skin, and from there I use radiographic, ultrasound, or CT-scan guidance to steer my instruments through blood vessels or soft tissues into the organ that I wish to treat. Almost every procedure can be done with IV sedation medication alone, so the patient does not need general anesthesia. Most patients usually can return home the same day with only a small bandage on, and they can often can go back to their normal activities after only a day or two of recovery at home. Watch a video with Dr. Raj Ayyagari>>
I perform procedures in every part of the body, but I specialize in some remarkable minimally invasive procedures that are available to treat problems that patients have in their urinary and reproductive organ systems, problems that can severely impact quality of life or even life expectancy. These procedures can treat such problems successfully and safely, while allowing patients to avoid more invasive surgery.
Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) is a remarkable procedure that is a safe and highly effective yet minimally invasive outpatient procedure that shrinks the prostate dramatically. This helps older men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) regain the ability to urinate normally again, without having to go through more invasive surgeries like a TURP (Trans-Urethral Resection of Prostate) or prostatectomy. This is truly a revolutionary procedure that has helped many men regain control of their lives, after suffering from what can become a severe medical condition that controls one's life.
For patients with concerns for prostate cancer, we are one of the few centers in the country that perform MRI-guided prostate biopsies through the skin (the "perineum") instead of going through the rectum (as is done with standard prostate biopsies). This technique allows us to directly target specific areas of concern in the prostate under direct imaging guidance, while avoiding much of the infection risk that comes with performing prostate biopsies via the rectum.
We are now one of a handful of centers in the country that perform a procedure called MRI-guided prostate cancer ablation. This is a minimally invasive technique performed via the urethra that allows us to treat prostate cancer without creating any incisions, often permitting the patient to return home the same day. The procedure is an excellent option for patients who are not necessarily good surgical candidates, and can be performed in selected patients after a thorough evaluation and conversation with both the a urologist specializing in cancer treatment and the Interventional Radiology team.
For both younger and older male patients with large dilated veins in their scrotum, a common problem known as a varicocele, I also perform a safe and highly effective and minimally invasive outpatient procedure called embolization that closes these veins and shrinks them down. This procedure is a way to treat the pain, cosmetic problems, or even concerns for fertility (ability to have children) that can plague patients with this condition.
Education & Training
- DIRECT Pathway FellowBrigham and Women's Hospital (2011)
- ResidentBrigham and Women's Hospital (2010)
- ResidentUniversity of Washington (2006)
- MDYale University School of Medicine (2004)
- BASwarthmore College, Behavioral Biology (1996)
- Peace Corps VolunteerEcuador (1996-1998)Rural Health Promoter and Agricultural Extensionist