Interventional Radiology: The Backbone to Radiology
Interventional Radiology is a branch of radiology where minimally invasive procedures are accomplished by utilizing image guidance. The procedures are done for diagnostic as well as treatment purposes. Images utilized for guiding such procedures offer road maps which enable radiologists in directing the instruments within the body.
Interventional radiologists are engaged in treatment of patients besides diagnosis of diseases. They are involved in treatment of a wide variety of conditions within the body through insertion of several small tools or instruments including wires or catheter by utilizing imaging and X-ray techniques. The field provides a feasible substitute to surgical treatment of several diseases. Moreover, it eliminates the requirement of hospitalization also, a few cases.
A few procedures performed by interventional radiologists include:
a) Angiography: The X-ray of veins and arteries for detecting narrowing or blockage of vessels.
b) Embolization: A substance is inserted in the blood vessels using a catheter. This prevents excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging.
c) Gastrostomy Tubes: If a patient cannot eat food through his/her mouth, a gastrostomy tube or a feeding tube is inserted in the stomach.
d) Intravascular Ultrasound: Using ultrasound within the blood vessels for better visualization of the vessel’s interior. This enables in detection of problems.
e) Stent Placement: A small, flexible coil named stent is positioned within the blood vessel at the place where blockage has taken place. Expanding the stent enables in opening up the blockage.