What is interventional radiology?
Interventional radiology is a rapidly growing area of medicine that uses non-surgical or minimally invasive techniques for diagnosis and treatment of certain medical conditions.
Small catheters or other guided instruments are used to obtain images of blood vessels and to perform a range of treatments.
For some procedures, a very small incision is required. This is usually easier for the patient than conventional surgery, with less pain and a shorter recovery time.
Why would I need an interventional procedure?
In many cases, minimally invasive procedures are preferred over conventional surgery. For example, with balloon angioplasty, blocked or narrowed blood vessels can be opened by inserting a very small balloon into the vessel and inflating it.
Image-guided interventional procedures include:
- Balloon angioplasty (blood vessels)
- Biopsies (breast, liver)
- Cyst aspiration (drainage)
- Uterine artery embolization (fibroids)
- Kidney stones and gall stones (removal)
- Carotid artery stenting (circulation in the brain)
- Endovascular stent grafting (abdominal aortic aneurism)
- Percutaneous vertebroplasty (for spinal fractures)
Interventional radiology services are generally pain-free, non-invasive and available to both outpatients and inpatients.