Tracing the body's pathways
What is interventional radiology?
Interventional radiology is a specialized field of medicine in which doctors explore the pathways of the body to diagnose and treat a range of conditions. These procedures offer many benefits to patients because they don't require a large incision as with traditional surgery. Patients feel less pain and can often go home shortly after the procedure.
In interventional radiology, specially trained doctors make a small incision to insert a tiny device such as a catheter — a slender tube that carries the needed medication or tool. They then use X-ray and other imaging technology to thread the catheter through arteries and veins in the body to:
- Clear blood clots
- Open blocked arteries and veins
- Stop bleeding
- Remove foreign bodies in blood vessels
- Biopsy tumors
- Deliver cancer-fighting drugs
- Perform other tasks
- Interventional radiologists who are board-certified physicians with accreditation in vascular, interventional and diagnostic radiology
- Board-certified vascular surgeons with sub-specialty training and certification in vascular surgery by the American Board of Surgery