Interventional radiology is a radiology specialization involving a range of imaging and correcting medical procedures. Interventional radiology encompasses minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical techniques. Instead of traditional (open) surgery or keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery, interventional radiologists use needles, tiny instruments like plastic tubes and catheters to diagnose and treat ailments in the most minimally intrusive ways as possible. They use imaging procedures like X-Rays, MRI’s and ultrasounds to perform image-guided surgeries by entering a needle in a vein or an artery.
Several treatment procedures have been made easier through interventional radiology. This method is used to treat, block or remove tumors. It is also used to clear blockages in blood vessels and is often accompanied by procedures like balloon angioplasty to clear any obstruction and open up the vessels. Cancer cells and tumors in the liver, which previously required major surgery, can now be burnt through this modern technique. Interventional Radiology is not only used for tumors but also plays a vital role in limb salvage for diabetes patients who face the risk of amputation. Even patients who complain about an irregular fistula benefit through this procedure.
Interventional Radiologists may be surgeons, radiologists, vascular surgeons or neurosurgeons who have completed a fellowship in interventional radiology. More and more medical practitioners are leaning towards interventional radiology as a form of treatment because of the many benefits it has compared to traditional surgery. Some of them include;
- Minimally Invasive
- No incision
- No Sedation
- No scaring
- Faster Recovery
- Less Pain
- Reduced Risk
- Being admitted is not necessary
Interventional Radiology has many advantages when compared to the traditional open surgeries. Interventional radiology causes less pain, is minimally invasive, less blood loss, faster recovery, minimal or no sedation required and it has a very low chance of infection.
Although every surgical procedure has risks involved, Interventional radiologists use the latest technology for advanced imaging and this helps in reducing the risks as much as possible. The needles, tubes, and catheters are inserted using guided imaging and so are precise, minimally invasive and safer.