Interventional and Vascular
Interventional Radiology (abbreviated IR or VIR for Vascular and Interventional Radiology) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilizes minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases throughout the body. The focus of interventional radiology is to care for patients using the least invasive techniques available in order to minimize patient complications and discomfort while improving health outcomes.
Interventional radiologists pioneered many techniques in modern minimally invasive medicine - including balloon angioplasty and the use of catheter delivered vascular stents. Using X-rays, CT, ultrasound, and MRI, interventional radiologists obtain images which enable them to direct therapeutic instruments throughout the body. These procedures are usually performed using needles and/or narrow tubes called catheters. In many instances, interventional radiology techniques eliminate the need for more invasive surgical procedures.
Examples of conditions treated by interventional radiologists include stroke, uterine fibroids, DVT, atherosclerosis, forms of cancer, internal bleeding, obstructions of the bile ducts and ureters, compression fractures of the spine, and a host of other common problems. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, imaging guided interventions can reduce complication rates, recovery times, and hospital stays.