Interventional radiology is a rapidly growing area of medicine. It uses minimally invasive, image-guided procedures instead of traditional surgical tests and treatments for certain medical conditions. These procedures are typically performed on an outpatient basis.
With interventional radiology, small catheters or other guided instruments are used to view and capture images of the inside of blood vessels, the digestive tract, or other systems in the body. For some procedures, only a very small incision is required. This results in less pain for the patient, and a shorter recovery time.
Fluoroscopy, a type of interventional procedure, uses a very narrow instrument to take x-ray images that are projected onto a TV-like monitor. This allows a doctor to view body functions in real time.
Why You Would Need An Interventional Procedure
In many cases, minimally invasive procedures are preferred over conventional surgery. For example, blocked or narrowed blood vessels can be opened by inserting a very small balloon through a catheter into the vessel and inflating it. Image-guided interventional procedures include:
- Angioplasty (blood vessels). Learn more in Heart (Cardiovascular)
- Biopsies (breast, liver). Learn more in Cancer (Oncology)
- Cyst aspiration (Drainage)
- Uterine artery embolization (Fibroids)
- Kidney stones and gall stone (Removal)
- Carotid artery stenting (Circulation in the brain)
- Endovascular stent grafting (Abdominal aortic aneruism)
- Percutaneous vertebroplasty (For spinal fractures)
Greenwich Hospital's radiology team offers many other types of procedures, all headed by board-certified interventional radiologists. These physicians have received subspecialty training beyond their primary specialty of radiology.