Interventional Radiology

What Is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional radiology is a specialized field within radiology where doctors, known as Interventional Radiologists, not only interpret your medical images but also perform minimally invasive surgical procedures through small incisions in the body.

Interventional radiology reduces recovery time, risk, pain, and cost to patients who would otherwise need traditional open surgery. Because of this, these invasive surgical procedures have become the primary way to diagnose, treat, and cure many kinds of conditions.

What Is The Process Of Interventional Radiology?

The interventional radiologist will use an appropriate imaging modality to get a clear picture of the body's area that must be treated. The imaging modalities used in interventional radiology are Computed tomography (CT) scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), fluoroscopy, and ultrasound.

After that, doctors make a tiny cut in the body and insert a tool like a needle, catheter (a tube), or wire. As doctors insert the device through the body to the treatment-required region, they observe the process on a screen.

 They may employ different imaging techniques and equipment depending on your unique condition. During therapy, you might be given medication to make you relaxed and relieve pain. However, you probably won't require general anesthesia, a drug that puts you to sleep throughout the treatment.

What Is Included In Interventional Radiology?

The procedures included in interventional radiology are:


This is an X-ray of the arteries and veins to find the narrowing or blockage of the vessels as well as other problems.


The procedure involves the placement of a balloon-tipped catheter into a blood vessel. The balloon is then inflated to open up an area of blockage inside the vessel.

Gastrostomy Tubes

 A gastrostomy is a surgical technique used to insert a tube through the belly and into the stomach. This tube is frequently referred to as a "G-tube." If tube feeding is required for four weeks or more, a gastrostomy can be done to vent the stomach for air or drainage. In addition, children who need or have undergone intestinal transplants may undergo this treatment.

A gastrostomy can enable someone who requires extra calories or cannot eat enough food by mouth to acquire the necessary nourishment. A gastrostomy can also function as a drainage tube to get around an obstruction, preventing fluid and acid buildup in the stomach. Doctors occasionally use a gastrostomy to drain and empty the abdomen after surgery when a patient cannot tolerate a nasogastric tube (or NG tube, which reaches the stomach through the nose).

Intravascular Ultrasounds

This is an ultrasound of the blood vessels to find problems inside them. It uses sound waves to see inside the vessel.

A specially designed catheter with a miniaturized ultrasound probe is attached to one end of the catheter that goes inside the body.  The other end of the catheter is attached to computerized ultrasound equipment.


A substance to stop blood flow is placed through a catheter into a blood vessel to stop the blood flowing through it. This can be done to control bleeding.

It can also eliminate abnormal connections between arteries and veins, close off vessels supplying blood to a tumor, or treat aneurysms. Embolization is a highly effective way to control bleeding and is much less invasive than open surgery.

Stent Placement

Interventional radiologists place a tiny mesh coil (or stent) inside a blood vessel at the site of a blockage. The stent is then expanded to open up the blockage.

Foreign Body Removal

A catheter placed inside the blood vessel removes any foreign body in the blood vessel.

IVC Filters

The inferior vena cava, or IVC is a large vein in the abdomen. An IVC filter is a small device that can stop blood clots from entering the lungs.

First, a small incision is made in a vein in your neck or groin to insert the IVC filter. Next, this vein is used to implant the catheter, a thin, flexible tube. Then, the catheter is carefully inserted into your IVC and is sent together with a collapsed IVC filter. Finally, the catheter is removed, but the filter is left in place.

The filter then expands and adheres to the IVC's walls. It may be kept there indefinitely, or it might be taken away in some circumstances after some time.

Ascitic Tap

An ascitic tap uses a needle to drain fluid that has become trapped in an internal body cavity, most commonly the abdomen. The fluid may need to be drained from the stomach if it is infected, stretching the abdomen and causing pain, or if a doctor needs to analyze the fluid in a lab for the presence of any disease,

Needle Biopsy

During this procedure, the doctor puts a small needle into almost any body part, guided by imaging techniques, to take a tissue biopsy. This type of biopsy can give a diagnosis without surgery.

Catheter Insertion

Catheters are inserted into a large vein to give nutrition, chemotherapy medications, or hemodialysis. A catheter may also be placed before a bone-marrow transplant.

Clot-dissolving Procedures (Thrombolysis)

The minimally invasive procedure places clot-dissolving medicines such as tissue plasminogen activators in the bloodstream. This drug breaks up blood clots and prevents new clots from forming. It also increases blood flow to the body's legs, arms, or other organs.

Cancer Treatment

Doctors can use interventional radiology to put cancer-killing therapies like chemotherapy and radioactive medicines directly onto tumors and cancer cells.

In addition, doctors can destroy tumors or cancerous cells by heating them with radio waves, electric currents, or ice crystals. In addition to treating the tumor, they can also damage tumors and cancer cells by cutting off their blood supply.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Without surgery, uterine fibroids can be treated with uterine fibroid embolization (UFE), often referred to as uterine artery embolization (UAE). Leiomyomas, sometimes referred to as fibroids, are benign (non-cancerous) growths in the uterus or womb.

UFE reduces the size of the fibroid and eliminates the symptoms by blocking the blood supply to the fibroid. There is no removal of the uterus.

If you have fibroids, the contrast medium, a liquid injected into an artery or blood vessel, will be visible on the X-ray images.

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