ⓘ Interventional radiology

                                     

ⓘ Interventional radiology

Interventional radiology is a group of techniques where medical imaging guidance, such as x-ray fluoroscopy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or ultrasound, are used to precisely guide medical therapies to the internal structures of the body through very small incisions or body orifices. The range of techniques is broadly classified into two main types of procedures, diagnostic and therapeutic.

Diagnostic methods of using the medical images either accurately guide biopsy of abnormalities, such as cancer, or to introduce a radioopaque agent to visualize hollow structures such as blood vessels or ducts. Examples of diagnostic procedures include angiography and lung biopsy.

Therapeutic techniques, on the other hand, that manual therapy, such as stents, laser treatment, or coagulation agents to the abnormality. Examples of therapeutic procedures, which include stenting of coronary arteries, cancer treatment, or management of kidney stones.

The main advantages of interventional radiology techniques that they can reach the deep structures of the body through body openings or small incisions, using needles and wires, which, overall, reduces the risks, pain and recovery after surgery compared with open procedures. Real-time imaging also allows accurate aiming of the abnormality, making the procedure or diagnosis more accurate. These benefits take into account the additional risks of lack of direct access to internal structures should bleeding or perforation occurs, and the risks of radiation exposure, such as cataracts and cancer.