Department: Vascular and Neuro Interventional Radiology
Interventional Radiology is a subspecialty of radiology,providing minimally invasive treatments performed under guidance of x-ray fluoroscopy,ultrasound or computed tomography. Under image guidance, through a small hole (<2mmnick in the skin) they guide small instruments such as needles and catheters (tubesthat measure just a few millimeters in diameter) through the blood vessels or otherbody pathways to the site of a problem to treat or detect disease percutaneously(through the skin). These procedures are performed in an interventional department(not in an operating theatre). In simple terms interventional radiologists “NotJust Diagnose But Treat too” with minimal invasive techniques.
- These are highly sophisticated medical procedures; do not involve large incisionsand therefore are much less invasive.
- In majority of cases local anesthetic is used instead of general anesthesia. Thusrisk, pain and recovery time are often significantly reduced.
- Most procedures do not require hospital admission (done as an outpatient) or requireonly a short hospital and therefore, The procedures are sometimes less expensivethan surgery or other alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Will IR treatment hurt? Q) Is this treatment costly?
A.) There can be some discomfort. Local anesthetic (numbing medicine) or sedationis used as needed for pain and anxiety. Often you will feel warmth from the contrast medium. Q) For how much time will I be required to stay in the hospital?
A.) It depends on the kind of procedure. For diagnostic Angiography, you will beneeded to stay in hospital for 6 hours after the procedure is over.
Some therapeutic procedures are performed on outpatient basis, and you can go homesame day, however for other procedures like embolization and stenting, 1 to 3 dayshospital stay is required.
A.) The materials used for these procedures are expensive and more or less all theseare imported from foreign countries. So at the beginning, the interventional proceduresare sometimes expensive than surgery or other alternatives. However with IR procedureslarge incision is not needed, so hospital stay is either not required or reduced,patient can soon start his normal day to day activities and go back to earn hislivelihood. Further expensive medicines are often not needed. So taking all theseinto account, IR procedures are less expensive.
Q).Are there any Limitations/disadvantages of this treatmentoption? Why these treatment options are not available very commonly? Q). How do I know if I am the candidate for Interventional radiological treatmentoption?
A).These are highly sophisticated medical procedures performed by skilled radiologistsunder the guidance of very expensive machines. Therefore these treatments are operatordependent and require state of the art machines for good resolution so as to helpthe IR to reach the diseased part as near as possible. Further to a certain extent,these treatments are anatomy dependent and so sometimes it becomes difficult forIR to reach super selectively and offer suitable treatment. In such cases open surgicaltreatment option is available to you.
A). Whenever you are advised any treatment, you may ask your family doctor or referringphysician or interventional radiologist “Is there any alternative minimal invasivetreatment option available to me.