Interventional radiology is a subspecialty of radiology that involves targeted, minimally invasive treatments. Intervention radiologists use their knowledge of examining X-rays, ultrasound and medical images, to assist doctors in guiding instruments. Catheters and other medical instruments are thus guided to treat the condition.
Common Interventional Procedures-
- Angiography is an X-ray of the blood vessels. It helps diagnose any possible blockages or infections in the arteries and veins. It employs a catheter to introduce a contrast dye into the blood vessels to produce an X-ray image of them.
- Balloon Angioplasty is employed by interventional radiologists to open clogged arteries in different parts of the body. It inserts an extremely small balloon into the blood vessel and inflates it, thereby unblocking narrow and blocked blood vessels.
- Vertebroplasty is used to treat fractures and spinal column lesions. It provides rapid pain relief and protection from possible future fracture or damage.
- Varicocele embolization is used to treat enlarged blood vessels of the scrotum. These, if left untreated, might cause infertility and extreme pain.
- Uterine fibroid embolization shrinks enlarged, painful, benign tumors present in the uterus.
- Uterine artery embolization is used to control postpartum bleeding and helps prevent a hysterectomy.
- Stenting involves using a small mesh tube to open ducts which have been blocked and drain bile from the liver.
- Chemoembolization is used to deliver cancer-fighting agents directly to the cancerous tumor. This is the most advanced form of treatment for cancers affecting the endocrine system, melanoma, and liver cancer.
Advantages of Interventional Radiology
The many advantages of Interventional Radiology include-
- Minimally invasive- With the use of interventional radiology, surgical incisions can be kept small and extremely precise. The procedures which use these techniques are minimally invasive and do not tax the patient’s health.
- Less use of anesthesia- The use of general anesthesia is more often than not required in these procedures. This significantly reduces the possible complications that are associated with the use of anesthesia.
- Shorter Recovery period- Since these procedures are minimally invasive, the recovery period is extremely short. And the patient can return to his daily routine within a few days itself.
- Cost-efficient- These procedures are also less expensive than open surgeries, making them extremely cost-efficient.
Interventional Radiology is a fast developing area of medical science and provides multiple advantages that traditional medicine does not.
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