Interventional radiology 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 minimize risk to the patient and improve health outcomes.
In addition to a five-year diagnostic radiology residency, physicians must complete a 1-year fellowship in vascular & interventional radiology to practice this minimally invasive area of radiology. Interventional radiology is used for both diagnostic and treatment purposes. Needles and other tiny instruments are guided through the body with the help of x-ray, ultrasound, CT or MRI.
Interventional radiologists are specially trained radiology physicians that provide patients with a less invasive way to solve otherwise invasive surgical procedures. Examples of such procedures are balloon angioplasties, bypass grafts; stents or embolizations to stop abnormal bleeding and shut down blood vessels that supply tumors; to treat fibroids in the uterus; or to place catheters or ports in the veins to give physicians long-term access. Interventional radiology can help view and treat almost any structure in the body.