Interventional Radiology: What It Is & Why It's Important

interventional radiology, what is interventional radiology, benefits of interventional radiology, interventional radiology

Chances are you haven’t heard of interventional radiology unless you’ve needed it, but this specialization allows radiologist to diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments using a myriad of different procedures aided by imaging procedures. Below, we’ll talk about what interventional radiology is, the most common procedures, and its benefits to the patient.

What is interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology is a medical specialization that involves performing a range of imaging procedures to obtain images of the inside of the body. The interventional radiologist reads these images to diagnose injury and disease, and to perform a range of interventional medical procedures. It has also been referred to as image-guided therapy, as your radiologist will use an imaging technique like an MRI, CT Scan, Ultrasound, or fluoroscopy to guide them as they perform interventional procedures such as taking a biopsy, treating tumors, inserting catheters, and more.

What makes an interventional radiologist different from other radiologists?

In addition to taking images of the body, an interventional radiologist can also perform minimally invasive surgical procedures that diagnose and treat many conditions. In additional to a four-year medical school and another four years of residency, your radiologist will have completed a highly specialized fellowship in interventional radiology, usually lasting two years.

What are the benefits of interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology reduces the cost, recovery time and risk to patients who would otherwise need a more invasive surgical procedure.

What are a few of the most common interventional radiology procedures?

Angioplasty – repairing or unblocking blood vessels by inserting a very small balloon into the vessel and inflating it. Used by IRs to unblock clogged arteries in the legs or arms, kidneys, brain or elsewhere in the body. Angioplasty is performed to restore blood flow through the artery.

Biopsy – removing small amounts of tissue samples to send to a laboratory for analysis. Radiologists will oftentimes biopsy tumors or abnormal tissue, using an imaging method as a guide.

Thrombolysis – dissolving blood clots by injecting a solution that dissolves them at the side of the clot. Treats blood clots in the brain to reverse the effects of stroke; treats deep vein thrombosis in the leg to prevent permanent disability.

Where are interventional radiology procedures done?

At BICRAD, we have radiologist who specialize in interventional radiology procedures at most of our locations. Call us to schedule a consultation today.