The word interventional means the act of intervening, interfering or interceding to change the outcome. Interventional Radiology is the medical use of X-rays to treat and diagnose diseases inside the human body.
Angiography was used for the human body for the first time in 1923. In 1953, the Seldinger method was pioneered by a Swedish doctor Sven-Ivar Seldinger, who laid the foundation for interventional radiologist. The idea of interventional radiology was first proposed by Charles Dotter in 1963 and described angioplasty in 1964. Charles dotter, in 1964 opened a new period of percutaneous angioplasty, marking the emergence in interventional radiology and Percutaneous coronary angioplasty was introduced in 1977.
Dr Charles T. Dotter recognised the potential of catheters for use in intravascular surgery in 1963. A wide array of therapeutic interventions and technologies were created by the mid-1980s. The advent of interventional radiology as a dedicated discipline, where interventionists only practice interventional radiology, was a huge boost for clinical referrals for therapeutic interventions.
Interventional radiology (IR) is a specialized discipline within radiology which includes carrying out a variety of imaging procedures to obtain images of the body's inside. Doctors not only interpret the diagnostic images in the context of interventional radiology, but they also conduct minimally invasive surgical procedures by tiny incisions in the body.
An interventional radiologist is a doctor who specializes in medical imaging to direct minimally invasive surgical procedures that diagnose and treat many types of conditions.
The spectrum of techniques in Interventional radiology is divided into two main types of procedures, such as diagnostic and therapeutic.
Interventional radiology is an innovative field driven by high technology and devices to provide high-quality care with less morbidity and often at a lower cost than many surgical alternatives.
The spectrum of diseases which can be treated by IR is huge and continually growing. Some of the conditions include Blood vessel diseases like narrowing of arteries, aneurysms, haemorrhage. Vein diseases conditions like blood clots in the lung, dilated veins, blocked veins.
Non-vascular intervention which is also referred to as interventional oncology, for which the treatments are also effective in benign and cancerous conditions. IR procedures are used to treat the tumours in Liver, kidney and other tumors, Uterine fibroids, Varicose veins, Venous Insufficiency, to relieve the effects of the cancer on other parts of the body, to treat collapsed spinal bones, and to drain collections of fluid or pus in the body (neck to toe) etc.
The following tests are some of the most common imaging techniques used by Interventional radiologists to visualize and treat interior organs with minimal disruption to the body and overall functionality. The IR investigations include Catheter-based angiography, Computed tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Fluoroscopy (real-time X-ray imaging).
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Interventional radiologists use imaging methods such as X-rays, MRI scans, fluoroscopy, CT scans, and ultrasound. The images are used to direct the catheters and instruments to the exact area of operation of the procedure or treatment. Thus eliminates the need for traditional surgery as treatment.
Radiology is a technologically advanced field in which a radiologist will use medical imaging technologies to diagnose disease and injury. Whereas, Interventional radiology is an image-guided surgical procedure in which interventional radiologists employ minimally invasive procedures, diagnostic imaging techniques like CT, ultrasound, MRI and fluoroscopy to view and treat the diseased benign and malignant conditions of the thorax, abdomen, pelves, and extremities.
Some of the common IR procedures are Embolization, Thrombolysis (declotting), Ablation of tumours, Transjugular intrahepatic porto-systemic shunts (TIPS), Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), Trans arterial Radio-embolization (TARE), Bronchial artery embolization, Uterine artery embolization for fibroids, Central venous catheter insertion (Permcath, PICC line, Chemoport etc), Varicose veins, Deep vein thrombosis or Pulmonary embolism, Peripheral arterial disease, Obstructive nephropathy, Portal hypertension, Vascular malformations, Dialysis Catheters and Venography etc.
Interventional radiology reduces costs, recovery time, discomfort, and risk for patients who would need conventional open surgery otherwise. Hence, Interventional radiology has become the primary method to treat various medical conditions.
There will be a risk in any medical procedures, but as interventional radiology is a safe and minimally invasive procedure when compared to traditional surgery. It also has a low risk of complication and minor risks are bleeding or infection.
In Interventional Radiology the procedure times vary greatly. It takes about five minutes if it is a simple change of the G-tube without any sedation. If it is angiogram with aneurysm coil, the IR procedure usually takes four hours.
No, it is recommended to follow your doctors’ instructions before undergoing Interventional radiology procedures. As you will be under anaesthesia (IV sedation / general anesthesia), during which your body reflexes are temporarily stopped. So, if your stomach is filled with food or drink may result in the risk of vomiting which brings food into your throat.
The interventional radiology procedures are embolization to control bleeding, cancer treatments to shrink tumors in the body, needle biopsies of many organs such as lungs and thyroid glands, feeding tube placement and catheter placement.
It is a minimally invasive procedure in which you will be made as comfortable as possible and your interventional radiologist will make every effort to ensure your comfort and support you during the procedure.
The benefits of Interventional radiology are:
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