Interventional radiology is a medical specialty that uses state of the art imaging technology, such as computerized axial tomography (CT) scans, angiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound to diagnose and treat many disease processes. Interventional radiologists are physicians who are certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties and are fellowship trained, the highest level of medical training available.
Most interventional radiology procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. These procedures are often easier for the patient, because they involve no large incisions, less risk, less pain and shorter recovery times. Imaging technology enables physicians to guide catheters through blood vessels to diagnose and treat diseases in blood vessels and in virtually every organ.
Patients may benefit from an interventional radiology procedure in several ways. In many cases, it is possible to avoid surgery altogether. Local anesthesia is used, and cardiac, respiratory and other complications are less likely. There is less blood loss, and recovery times are reduced – most patients are able to resume normal activities within a few days. For patients who are not surgical candidates, interventional radiology can be used as a treatment method.