Interventional Radiology are procedures which are performed without surgery by interventional radiologists. These physicians specialize in the use of X-rays, Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and other techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) to see inside the body without surgery. Flexible thin tubes (Catheters) are inserted through skin or blood vessels and guided to the treatment (like heart angioplasty), As it is done by interventional radiologist, he can see inside the body without opening it through CT scan, ultrasound, DSA thereby using exact site of disease without effecting surrounding structures. It is less risky and cheaper than traditional surgery. The procedure is done under local anesthesia.
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Interventional radiology is an advanced treatment alternative to traditional surgery. Through a tiny incision in your skin, interventional radiologists are able to deliver precise treatment for common and life-threatening conditions. Because interventional radiology is less invasive than surgery, patients often experience quicker recovery and, in many cases, more effective results.
With minimized risk and pain compared to surgery, interventional radiology leverages advanced imaging techniques, such as ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRI scans, to see inside your body and treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney failure
- Liver disease
- Uterine fibroids
- Varicose veins
- Unlike traditional surgery, interventional radiology requires only a tiny incision the size of a pinhole. That means less pain for patients—and a faster recovery. Most interventional radiology procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting, allowing many patients to go home the same day they receive treatment. If a hospital stay is necessary, patients are often discharged within 24 hours.
- While many surgical procedures require patients to undergo general anesthesia, interventional radiology uses conscious sedation techniques to make patients comfortable and relaxed during the procedure without the risks of complications from general anesthesia.
- Interventional radiology procedures have been proven to result in similar outcomes—or at times—significantly better outcomes than traditional open surgery. In fact, for certain treatments, interventional radiology has replaced traditional open surgery.
- Your interventional radiologist will advise you during your pre-procedure consultation of any nutritional guidelines to follow. Generally speaking, you may be required to stop eating solid foods at midnight before your procedure.
- Your interventional radiologist will advise you during your pre-procedure consultation of what medications you should or shouldn’t continue to take. In most cases, your doctor will advise you to continue taking your regular medications. However, your radiologist will likely advise you to stop taking any blood-thinning medications for a certain number of days before the procedure.
Unlike traditional surgery, patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures generally do not receive general anesthesia. Since general anesthesia isn’t typically necessary for interventional radiology procedures, you’ll benefit from quicker recovery and less risk of complications.
Instead, your care team will generally numb the incision area with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Then they will use an intravenous (IV) line to deliver sedation, which will make you more comfortable and relaxed during your procedure. You can rest easy knowing that you will feel minimal pain.
Depending on your procedure, age, and medical condition, your sedation level may range from:
- Minimal – You will be drowsy but able to talk
- Moderate – You may fall asleep and be unaware of your surroundings for some of the procedure
- Deep (“Twilight”) – You will be asleep but will breathe on your own. You will have very little memory of the procedure
- Most interventional radiology procedures involving arteries and veins require a minimum recovery of six hours. For other interventional radiology procedures, you may need to stay one night in the hospital before being discharged. Your care team will inform you of your expected recovery time prior to your appointment.
- It’s important to note that you will not be able to drive after your procedure. Please be sure to arrange for someone else to accompany you to your procedure and take you home.
- If you had a biopsy or other diagnostic interventional radiology procedure, your care team will call you to share any imaging results. Timing varies based on your procedure and the location where you received your procedure. Your care team will inform you of when to expect a call with the results.