What is interventional radiology?
Interventional radiologists are involved in the treatment of the patient, as well as the diagnosis of disease. They treat an ever-widening range of conditions inside the body from outside the body by inserting various small instruments or tools, such as catheters or wires, with the use of various x-ray and imaging techniques (i.e., CT scanners, MRI scanners, ultrasound scanners). Interventional radiology offers an alternative to the surgical treatment of many conditions and can eliminate the need for hospitalization, in some cases. Interventional radiology methods help reduce infection rates, speed up recovery times and shorten hospital stays.
Who is the interventional radiologist?
The interventional radiologist is a medical doctor who has completed training in an accredited residency program. The interventional radiologist is then eligible to take the board examination given by the American Board of Radiology. Following board certification, the interventional radiologist completes an interventional radiology fellowship training program. Interventional radiologists work closely with other physicians and play an important role on the treatment team.
Vascular interventional radiology procedures include:
an x-ray of the arteries and veins to detect blockage or narrowing of the vessels. In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat the blockages, such as those occurring in the arteries in the legs or kidneys, by inserting a small stent which inflates and opens the vessel. This procedure is called a balloon angioplasty
to dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow
(transjugular intrahepatic portal-systemic shunt)a life-saving procedure for patients with severe liver dysfunction.
Non-vascular interventional radiology procedures include:
• inserting tubes for nutrition
• draining abscesses
• vertebroplasty to repair a fractured vertebra (spinal bone)
• and many other procedures.
Other interventional radiology procedures performed at Holland Hospital include:
- Needle biopsy—a diagnostic test for cancer and an alternative to surgical biopsy. Read more about needle biopsy. .
- Central venous access—the insertion a catheter beneath the skin and into a blood vessel to supply a patient with medications or nutrients.
- Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)—an advanced procedure that employs the new atherectomy catheter system. A catheter-mounted rotating blade “shaves off” and collects plaque from vessel walls to improve blood flow. Read more about PVD.
- Vertebroplasty—repair of a fractured vertebra (spinal bone) by injecting an orthopaedic cement mixture. Vertebroplasty often restores mobility and prevents further injury.