Understanding Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology Australia or IR pertains to a range of techniques that are anchored on the use of radiological image guidance such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and fluoroscopy which are intended to target therapy. These are less invasive alternatives to open or laparoscopic surgery or keyhole surgery. It is often called pinhole surgery because it involves passing a needle through the skin to reach the target.


There are many applications of radiology in treating different illnesses. It can be applied for treating blood vessel disease, stone disease, and it can also be used for nonvascular intervention. Radiology is used for addressing the narrowing of arteries, aneurysms or expansion of arteries, and bleeding or hemorrhage. It can also help to address blood clots in the lung or pulmonary embolism, blocked veins, and dilated veins (varicose veins). Radiology is also used for tumor therapies, for liver, kidney and other tumors, and uterine fibroids. It is also needed for treating kidney stones and gall stones.


Treatments that are done with the use of IR are minimally invasive. Such treatments use small incisions or cuts. Interventional radiology procedures are known for being less painful than the regular surgery. Children get the tiniest amount of anesthesia or sedation for the procedure to be safe and as comfortable as possible. The patients also often have shorter recovery periods and with minimal or no scars at all. Many times an IR procedure does not require hospitalization. The procedure can also be very precise since it is guided by imagery. This aids doctors to prevent any possible damage on the surrounding tissues, skin, and organs.

The Interventional Radiologist

An Interventional radiology Australia (IR) is a board certified physician in radiology. He or she has pursued fellowship training to be able to perform minimally invasive and image-guided procedures. After finishing 4 years in college, an IR completes another 4 years of medical school and followed by 5 years of residency training. After the residency training is the one year of fellowship training which makes it 10 years training after college in general. The specialized training must be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Other Members of the IR Team

During the procedure, the IR will be assisted by a nurse and a radiology technologist. The technologists must assist the IR during the procedure in the same way that a surgical technician assists the surgeon. A registered nurse will be present to monitor the vital signs of the patient and also to provide medications for pain control and sedation. The IR team may sometimes include a physician assistant and/or nurse practitioner who can walk the patient through the entire procedure. The PA or NP may function as a contact person about the ongoing follow-up and care plan during the entire treatment period.

Most IR patients are sent home in the same day after the procedure. Normal activity is expected to resume within the week or the next. Interventional radiology is a less complicated alternative to the traditional surgery treatment conducted to treat various conditions.