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Interventional radiology is a ‘super-specialty’ in radiology which has become an integral part of the patient’s overall care, providing alternatives to surgery for a wide range of health problems.
Image techniques like fluoroscope, ultrasound, computerized tomography and magnetic resonance are used to guide in the placement of needles, catheters and devices directly to their destinations inside the body through a small incision in the skin. These procedures are often carried out with local anesthetic or intravenous sedation and so general anesthesia is not required.
Interventional radiology is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilizes minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. The concept behind interventional radiology is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques currently available in order to minimize risk to the patient and improve health outcomes.
As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, interventional radiologists pioneered modern minimally-invasive medicine. Using X-rays, CT, ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging modalities, interventional radiologists obtain images which are then used to direct interventional instruments throughout the body. These procedures are usually performed using needles and narrow tubes called catheters, rather than by making large incisions into the body as in traditional surgery.
Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, peripheral interventions can reduce infection rates and recovery time, as well as shorten hospital stays.