Interventional Radiology is a sub-specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating disease using minimally invasive techniques. Rather than performing traditional surgery, these specialists use minute instruments such as needles and catheters for treatment, inserting them through a small nick in the skin, with imaging (CT, ultrasound, MRI) to guide them. These procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and usually do not require general anesthesia. In most cases, interventional procedures are less risky and less expensive than traditional surgery.
Common interventional procedures include:
Balloon angioplasty and vascular stenting to open narrow or blocked blood vessels
Thrombolysis to dissolve blood clots in conditions like pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis
Biopsy to obtain a tissue sample for pathological examination
Embolization to block abnormal blood vessels or organs, for treatment of brain aneurysms, uterine fibroids, infertility, and more
Drain insertions and chest tubes (thoracostomy)
Vascular access for feeding tubes, IV medicine, chemotherapy, dialysis, blood transfusions, and other long-term IV needs
As Interventional Radiology covers a long list of procedures, preparation will vary. We will provide you with instructions specific to your procedure beforehand.
Always inform your physician of recent illnesses, chronic medical conditions, and whether there’s a chance you may be pregnant before any procedure is performed. In most cases, you may be instructed to not eat or drink anything for several hours before your procedure, with the exception of medications. Wear comfortable clothing; you may be asked to change into a gown. Many of our interventional treatments are performed as outpatient procedures, but some may require you to stay at the hospital overnight.