What is Vascular & Interventional Radiology?
Innovative, Minimally Invasive Care
Advancements in technology and imaging have created new treatment options for patients. Interventional radiology is a field of medicine in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance. Interventional radiology is one of the biggest advances in the medical field, offering treatments with less risk and less pain and shorter hospital stays than surgery. Vascular and interventional radiology is one of the most rapidly expanding areas in medicine and has led the current movement toward minimally invasive therapy.
Therapeutic Meets Diagnostic Specialties
Interventional Radiology originated within diagnostic radiology as an invasive diagnostic subspecialty. IR is now a therapeutic and diagnostic specialty that is composed of a wide range of minimally invasive image-guided therapeutic procedures as well as invasive diagnostic imaging. Many minimally invasive IR procedures have taken the place of major surgical procedures. IR physicians provide patient evaluation and management relevant to image-guided interventions in collaboration with other physicians or independently. IR procedures have become an integral part of modern medical care.
Vascular & Interventional Radiologists
Vascular and Interventional radiologists are board-certified physicians who are trained in both medical imagining and minimally invasive therapies. They deliver accurate, targeted treatments to complex and sometimes life-threatening diseases and conditions. Interventional radiologists use imaging such as CT, ultrasound, MRI, and fluoroscopy to help guide procedures. Imaging is helpful when inserting catheters, wires, and other instruments and tools into the body. Doctors use this technology to diagnose or treat conditions in almost any part of the body instead of needing to directly look inside of your body through a scope (camera) or with open surgery.
Doctors consult with vascular and interventional radiologists for a wide variety of suspected and known diseases, disorders, and conditions. Your doctor may send you to a vascular and interventional radiologist to have a diagnostic imaging test, such as an angiogram or CT scan. The vascular and interventional radiologist will provide written test results and may consult with the referring doctor to make a diagnosis. Your doctor may also consult with a vascular and interventional radiologist to determine the best treatment plan for you and to provide a minimally invasive treatment.
During most procedures, an interventional radiologist will use different imaging methods (such as CT, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound) to direct a thin wire and catheter through a specific location in the body to treat or diagnose disease. Through the use of different imaging methods, they can manipulate and guide tiny instruments throughout the body, without the need for surgical incisions. Common interventional radiology procedures include:
- Angiography or angioplasty
- Cancer treatments including tumor embolization
- Tumor ablation
- Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty
- Needle biopsies
- Breast biopsy
- Uterine artery embolization
- Feeding tube placement
- Venous access catheter placement, such as ports and PICCs
Midwest Radiology VIR is available to patients 24/7. Whether you are a new patient, former patient, or a new patient seeking a consultation or second opinion, we look forward to hearing from you. If you are a candidate for open surgery or have a complex disease, consider exploring your treatment options with an interventional radiologist. Interventional radiology can be an appropriate choice for patients who are in weak health or have previously undergone numerous prior surgeries.