Interventional Radiology (IR) is also known as Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR) or Surgical Radiology. IR is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilizes minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. The concept behind interventional radiology is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques currently available in order to minimize risk to the patient and improve health outcomes.
As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, interventional radiologists pioneered modern minimally-invasive medicine. Using X-rays, CT, ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging modalities, interventional radiologists obtain images which are then used to direct interventional instruments throughout the body. These procedures are usually performed using needles and narrow tubes called catheters, rather than by making large incisions into the body as in traditional surgery.
Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. Thus minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, significantly reducing risk of infection, recovery times and hospital stays.
Quantum Radiology interventional radiologists are minimally invasive specialists that diagnose or treat disease, with the advantage of being far less invasive than traditional surgery. The landscape of medicine is constantly changing, and for the past 30 years, interventional radiologists have been responsible for much of the medical innovation and development of the minimally invasive procedures that are commonplace today.
Common Interventional radiology procedures include:
- Ablation – the surgical removal of a body part or tissue, such as a cancerous tumor, without harming the surrounding tissue
- Embolization – the process of blocking the flow of blood in selected arteries to stop hemorrhaging or to block the blood supply to a tumor
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis – a procedure used to clear blood clots
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors of the uterus. Uterine fibroids affect one out of three women between 30 and 50 years of age. The most common symptoms of uterine fibroids are heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the pelvic region and pressure on the bladder or bowel.
Uterine fibroid embolization is a non-surgical, minimally invasive option for treating uterine fibroids. An interventional radiologist uses a high-definition X-ray camera, called a fluoroscope, to guide a catheter into the uterine arteries. Small particles are injected through the catheter to block the blood supply to the fibroids, causing them to shrink and, in most cases, relieve the patient of her symptoms.
Image-guided biopsies, in many circumstances, have replaced the need for surgical biopsies. In order to obtain samples of tissue for examination, the doctor inserts a small needle, guided by imaging techniques, into the abnormal area. That sample is removed and given to a pathologist for further study.
Endovenous ablation of varicose veins are abnormally enlarged veins in the legs caused when the valves that allow blood to flow from the legs up to the heart leak. Blood pools in the leg veins causing them to swell. Endovenous ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that diverts blood flow to healthy veins by using heat from radio frequency or laser energy to block the blood flow to enlarged veins.
Vertebroplasty is a treatment for vertebral compression fracture caused by osteoporosis. A collapsed vertebra is stabilized by the injection of bone cement into the spine. The procedure greatly reduces pain within hours and can prevent further collapse of the vertebra.
Interventional Radiology Services:
- Therapeutic image guided interventional procedures
- Pelvic congestion
- Endovenous ablation of varicose veins
- Palliative image guided interventional procedures
- Spine wand
- Lesion ablations
- Port and IV placements
- Advanced diagnostic equipment for interventional procedures
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)