Interventional radiology (IR) is a medical speciality that uses minimally invasive techniques, guided by medical imaging such as X-rays, CT scans, or ultrasound, to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions throughout the body. Here are some common uses of interventional radiology:

  • 1. Angiography and Angioplasty: IR is frequently used to diagnose and treat conditions affecting blood vessels. Angiography involves injecting contrast dye into blood vessels to visualize them on X-ray images, helping to diagnose conditions such as blocked arteries or aneurysms. Angioplasty, often performed during angiography, involves widening narrowed or blocked blood vessels using a balloon catheter.
  • 2. Embolization: This technique is used to block blood flow to specific areas of the body, often to treat abnormal blood vessels such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) or to stop bleeding from organs like the liver or uterus.
  • 3. Biopsies and Drainage: IR procedures are used to obtain tissue samples (USG/CT Guided Biopsies) from various organs or masses within the body using minimally invasive techniques guided by imaging. Additionally, IR can place drainage catheters to remove fluid buildup from areas such as the lungs or abdomen (USG/CT Guided Aspirations/Drainages). PTBD (Percutaneous Transhepatic Biliary Drainage) +/- Stenting, PCN (Percutaneous Nephrostomy) and DJ Stenting.
  • 4. Tumor Ablation: IR techniques can be used to destroy tumors without the need for surgery. Methods such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microwave ablation, or cryoablation use heat or extreme cold to kill cancer cells.
  • 5. Vascular Interventions: EVLT (Endo-Venous Laser Therapy)- Varicose Veins, Trans-arterial chemo-embolization (TACE), Angioplasty/Stenting- Peripheral arterial disease, Uterine artery embolization (UAE)- AVM/Fibroids Prostate artery embolization (PAE)- BPH, Angio- embolization of bleeders – Bronchial (BEA)/ Gastric/ Head & Neck/Renal Management of CLD – TIPPS/BRTO/PARTO, Management of acute DVT and Arterial thrombosis.
  • 6. Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty: These procedures involve injecting bone cement into fractured vertebrae to stabilize them and relieve pain caused by compression fractures, often due to osteoporosis.
  • 7. Percutaneous Image-Guided Therapies: IR offers a range of minimally invasive treatments for conditions such as uterine fibroids, varicose veins, and prostate enlargement, among others. These treatments often have shorter recovery times and fewer complications compared to traditional surgery.
  • 8. Intravascular Foreign Body Retrieval: IR can be utilized to remove foreign bodies, such as broken catheters or fragments of medical devices, from blood vessels without the need for open surgery.
  • 9. Portal Hypertension Management: IR techniques can help manage complications of portal hypertension, a condition often associated with liver disease, by creating shunts to redirect blood flow and relieve pressure on the liver.
  • 10. Pain Management: Certain IR procedures, such as nerve blocks or spinal injections, can be used to alleviate chronic pain conditions.
Benefits of Interventional Radiology
  • Minimally Invasive
  • Day Care Procedures
  • Very Fast Recovery
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Very Low Complication Risk
  • No requirement for General Anesthesia
  • Cosmetically Better- No Scar

Overall, interventional radiology plays a crucial role in providing minimally invasive alternatives to traditional surgery and can often offer patients faster recovery times, reduced risk of complications, and improved outcomes.