What is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional radiology is one of a few specialized fields that uses medical images to treat health conditions. We previously discussed how diagnostic radiology is used to locate and identify disease, but how exactly does interventional radiology differ?

The board-certified doctors at Hudson River Radiology want to break down what interventional radiologists do and what procedures they pursue with medical image guidance.

Jersey City interventional radiology
Interventional cardiology or radiology. Male surgeon doctor radiologist at operation during catheter based treatment with X-ray visualization.

How is Interventional Radiology Different Than Other Fields?

Interventional radiology (IR) goes beyond the act of diagnosing patient health. IR Treatments are image-guided medical and surgical procedures to relieve or cure certain medical conditions. These medical experts receive specialized training in vascular and interventional radiology so that they can utilize MRI, CT scans, and more to complete IR procedures.

Interventional radiology involves minimally invasive image-guided procedures as opposed to resorting to open surgery. Being able to identify the problem and its location allows specialists to create a treatment plan that minimizes risk to the patient, pain, and recovery time. 

What Are Common Interventional Radiology Procedures?

IR procedures are tremendously effective at treating vascular issues pertaining to blood vessels and blood flow, such as blood clots or varicose veins.

Treatments for Vascular Health and More

A deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that exists deep in the leg and can pose a risk of heart attack or stroke if untreated. Interventional radiologists can quickly locate the DVT and employ procedures such as Balloon Angioplasty or Stenting to alleviate the problem.

A balloon angioplasty, for example, sees a surgeon inserting a small device into the artery. A balloon found on the top is then inflated, pushing open the walls of the artery, alleviating that which blocks blood flow. Without radiological imaging, doctors would have to resort to more involved surgery to locate and treat the issue, which poses more risk for the patient.

Interventional radiology is used to treat many other vascular issues such as peripheral arterial disease, vascular malformations, or even kidney stones. It’s also used to treat problems with infertility in women as well as uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths that trigger abdominal pain in females typically 35 years or older. 

Interventional Oncology

Interventional radiologists are instrumental in diagnosing and treating cancer early. They are able to identify almost any type of cancerous tumors located in the lungs, kidneys, or even bones.

They also handle various treatment options for cancerous tumors. Radiofrequency ablation destroys tumor cells by heating them with radio frequencies until they dissipate. You may also be familiar with chemo, or chemoembolization, where a specialized drug is injected through a catheter directly to the affected organ. 

Interventional Radiology Can Save Lives

At Hudson River Radiology, we’re the first step in providing state-of-the-art medical imaging care. Our diagnostic radiology is able to identify whether you have or are at risk for certain health issues. From there, you’ve now learned how interventional radiologists use that information to coordinate the best treatment possible. 

If your family doctor prescribes diagnostic imaging such as an MRI, CT scan, or more, give Hudson River Radiology a call today at (201)-876-1111 to schedule your appointment. We have locations in Wayne, Jersey City, and Union City for your convenience.

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