interventional radiology

What is interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology is an advanced minimal invasive management of diseases alternative to traditional surgery. Through a pin hole incision in the 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.

What are procedures performed by interventional radiologists ?

Diagnostic: -

  • Biopsy- tru-cut/core/ bone Biopsy
  • Enlarged veins feel like a bag of worms
  • Ascitic ,pleural fluid diagnostic tap.
  • FNAC.
  • Angiography –Cranial and spinal


  • Mechanical thrombectomy for brain stroke and endovascular coiling for brain aneurysms
  • Endovenous laser/RF ablation of varicose veins.
  • Angioplasty and stenting of stenosed vessels.
  • Catheter-based clot thrombolysis for vessel thrombosis /cerebral vein thrombosis.
  • Uterine artery embolisation for fibroids, dysmenorrhea
  • Embolisation of bleeder vessels/ vascular malformations.
  • IVC filters in DVT patients to prevent pulmonary thromboembolism
  • Peripherally inserted central catheter(PICC) line placement for chemotherapy.
  • Dialysis catheter placement.
  • Hepatobiliary procedures such as Percutaneous biliary drainage (PTBD)and stenting
  • Chemotherapy (Transarterial chemoembolization for liver tumors(TACE ).
  • Microwave Radiofrequency ablation for liver, lung ,thyroid and bone focal lesions
  • Aspiration of abnormal collections-Liver ,psoas ,renal abscesses And PCD placement
  • Foreign body retrieval.
  • Percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN )
  • Pre-op embolization of vascular tumors (juvenile nasal angiofibroma, meningioma etc).
  • Percutaneous Vertebroplasty / kyphoplasty.
  • Pain therapy – Acute & Chronic pain therapy & Nerve blocks such as celiac plexus block, Stellate ganglion block , genicular block for OA etc.
What are advantages of interventional radiology over traditional surgery?
  • Generally, the treatment is of shorter duration and performed under local anesthesia
  • Greater comfort to the patient.
  • Get back to work in less time
  • Reasonable costs.
  • Less risk than traditional surgery methods..
    Above all, the success rate of these techniques is also much better than traditional treatments.
Who performs interventional radiology procedures?

Advancement in medical technology treatments especially in imaging techniques has created new treatment choices for the patients. Ask your doctor about treatments that are less invasive. And, if you are a candidate for open surgery, consider getting a second opinion from an interventional radiologist. There may be a minimally invasive approach that could dramatically reduce your pain, risk and recovery time. Therefore, it’s compulsory for the patient to know and understand all the options for the treatment of its disease

Will I be awake during my interventional radiology procedure? Will I receive general anesthesia?

Unlike traditional surgery, interventional radiology procedures generally do not require general anesthesia and done under local anesthesia or conscious sedation . Since general anesthesia isn’t typically necessary for interventional radiology procedures, you’ll benefit from a 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.

Should I be concerned about radiation safety?

The use of radiation in diagnosing and treating patients has significantly advanced the field of medicine and saved or extended countless lives. As with any other medical procedure, the use of radiation is not without risk. Interventional radiologists undergo extensive training in radiation safety and know how to mitigate the risks of radiation by following established federal guidelines. IRs make it a priority to minimize the amount of radiation necessary to complete the treatment.

Should I eat before my interventional radiology procedure?

Generally speaking, you may be required to stop eating solid foods at midnight before your elective procedures. Your interventional specialist will advise you during your pre-procedure consultation of any required guidelines to follow .In case of diabetes ,you need to take some special precautions to prevent hypoglycemia that will be pre informed

Can I continue taking my regular medications before my interventional radiology 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 except antiplatelets/anti coagulants for a certain number of days prior to the procedure.

How soon can I leave after my interventional radiology procedure? Will I be able to drive?

Most interventional radiology procedures involving arteries and veins require procedural time of 1-2 hrs with recovery /hospital stay time of 6-12 hours. For minor /Diagnostic interventional radiology procedures like Biopsy ,FNAC ,collection drainage ,pain management you can be discharged after 2-3 hrs observation.

Your care team will inform you of your expected recovery time prior to your appointment.

It’s important to note that you might not be able to drive after your procedure so be sure to arrange for someone else to accompany you after the procedure and take you home.