Interventional radiology is a medical specialization offering a range of imaging procedures to get images of inside your body. The interventional radiologist carefully analyzes these images to diagnose the condition and perform a range of interventional procedures.
There are multiple applications of interventional radiology. Some common ones include:
- Embolization: It aids in stopping bleeding or hemorrhage. To embolize, the interventional radiologist inserts embolic agents through the catheter into the blood vessels. These agents prevent or block the blood supply to the area.
- Angiography: This procedure is used to find narrowing or blockage of vessels. If the blockage is present, it is often treated with interventional radiology procedures such as angioplasty.
- Needle biopsy: It helps diagnose a condition by offering analysis of the tissue. Imaging techniques guide the introduction of a needle to obtain tissue for biopsy.
- Stent placement: This procedure aids in the opening of a blockage. A stent, which is a small coil, is inserted inside a blood vessel and expanded at the site of the blockage.
The procedures can be divided into the following three main categories:
Vascular Interventional Radiology
Interventional radiology is an excellent option for patients suffering from pain or life-threatening conditions. Some arterial diseases that may benefit from IR peripheral artery disease, aneurysms, and arterio-venous malformation.
In such cases, interventional radiologists may help manage symptoms by sealing off an aneurysm or restore blood flow in blocked arteries.
Some common procedures are:
- Peripheral vascular disease stenting and angioplasty
- Endoleak embolization
- Visceral artery embolization
Neuro Interventional Radiology
It involves endovascular treatment of arteriovenous malformation and aneurysm in the brain and stroke. The endovascular devices are inserted through peripheral vessels where they open blockages or stop bleeding.
Non-Vascular Interventional Radiology
It is also known as interventional oncology, but it can also be useful for benign conditions. Non-vascular IR therapies are used to:
- Treat cancer
- Relieve effects of cancer on other systems such as liver or kidneys
- Place feeding tubes
- Drain collection of pus or fluid in the abdomen or chest
- To manage collapsed spinal bones
Some common procedures include:
- Kidney, liver, and other tumor therapies
- Tumor therapies
- Uterine fibroid therapies