Health Care

What is Interventional Radiology?

Two Surgeons Prepare the Operating Room for a Procedure.

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Interventional radiology (IR) is a sub-field within radiology that involves the image-guided diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of a condition. Interventional radiologists interpret the results of your imaging scans and perform essential laparoscopic procedures with the help of video imaging tools.

How Does Interventional Radiology Work?

Interventional radiology requires small incisions, typically in your abdomen, but unlike traditional surgery, these procedures require only needles and catheters to treat your medical conditions.

Interventional radiologists are doctors who specialize in these types of procedures. Your doctor will interpret medical images from computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, ultrasounds or X-rays to determine if you need IR. During your procedure, an interventional radiologist will create a small incision and insert a special X-ray camera, called a fluoroscope, to view the area.

In most cases, you’ll receive moderate sedation. In some cases, this could mean that you’ll be awake during the procedure. However, you can find peace of mind knowing you’ll be relaxed and unable to feel pain with this minimally invasive care method.

What Conditions Does Interventional Radiology Treat?

Doctors use interventional radiology to treat conditions affecting your blood vessels, arteries and even some organs.

Interventional radiologists regularly help prevent and treat various vein-related issues, including pulmonary embolisms, varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. Using this method, they can more easily monitor blood clots and repair damages.

Interventional radiology is also used to obtain biopsies and treat non-vascular conditions, such as kidney and gallstones, certain types of tumor therapies, uterine fibroids and more. This method provides a laparoscopic technique to shrink, remove or destroy bodily growths and obstructions.

Minimally invasive procedures like interventional radiology offer many advantages over traditional surgical techniques, including reduced risks, less pain and discomfort, shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery times, and often lower costs. Most interventional radiology procedures don’t require any hospital time at all, as doctors can complete these pinhole-sized incision procedures in an outpatient setting. Due to these benefits, interventional radiology has become the primary way to treat many conditions.

Healing With Your Whole Health in Mind

At AdventHealth, we use minimally invasive procedures, including interventional radiology, to help you feel better faster. Learn more about our leading-edge medical imaging services and how our physicians can help you return to your fullest health.

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