Master about interventional radiology in 5 Minutes

interventional radiology - Sriramakrishnahospital

Interventional radiology employs imaging equipment (such as X-rays, CTs, or ultrasounds) to look into patients and execute minimally invasive treatments. Interventional Radiology (IR) is frequently referred to as Image Guided Surgery. 

The holes usually produced are even smaller than those used in key-hole surgery; as a result, the procedure is also referred to as pin-hole surgery since it is performed through an incision about the size of a big needle. 

Only in extremely rare and complex circumstances will a general anaesthetic be necessary, with the vast majority of treatments being able to be completed under local anaesthetic or sedation. This article gives complete information about interventional radiology and why it is used. Seeking help from an interventional radiologist in Coimbatore can aid in getting treated without any complications.

Why is interventional radiology used?

Image-guided treatments can do it all, whether it’s for primary tumour destruction, preventing surgical bleeding, or relieving cancer-related discomfort. When a patient is not healthy enough for surgery, the specialist may suggest an IR technique instead.

Interventional radiologists at IR hospital can also use these procedures to insert devices like chest ports for patients who need continuous infusions of chemotherapy medications, drain infections and abnormal accumulation of fluid in the chest and abdomen, and identify cancer (through image-guided biopsy).

Interventional radiology is subdivided into:

  • Angioplasty (balloon dilation of constricted blood vessels) and embolization are examples of vascular interventions that focus on the body’s arterial system (blocking blood vessels to tumours or when someone is bleeding internally).
  • Venous vascular interventional radiology encompasses vascular line insertion, intravenous thromboembolization (IVC) filters, and thrombus suction devices for unblocking veins (thrombectomy).
  • Third, non-vascular intervention includes things like vertebroplasty, cement injections into broken bones, and nephrostomies to unclog kidneys and the liver (RIG).
  • Tumour ablation (injecting a needle into a tumour and heating it to kill cancer cells) and chemotherapy-coated beads injected into tumours are examples of procedures performed in interventional oncology, which diagnoses and treats cancer (TACE).

The different procedures that are performed at interventional radiology:


Different methods of percutaneous tumour ablation involve destroying tumour tissue by inserting needles through the skin. While some methods employ chemical agents, others employ physical agents, which may be thermal (including heat) or non-thermal. 

Different types of applicators, such as those used in radiofrequency ablation, laser ablation, microwave ablation, and high-intensity focused ultrasound, can be used to either freeze the tumour (a process known as cryoablation) or heat it (the latter two methods destroying the tumour) (HIFU).


You can see the interior of your blood vessels, especially your arteries, with a medical imaging procedure called angiography (sometimes called arteriography).

An interventional radiologist will operate by injecting a radiopaque contrast substance into your blood vessel. After taking this medication, your blood vessels will be more visible in diagnostic imaging. The fluoroscopy will be used for image guidance by the interventional radiologist.

A needle or catheter is first threaded into an artery, then a contrast agent is injected, and finally, the area is imaged to perform a diagnostic arteriogram. Along with angiography, angiogram, and arteriogram are procedures used to visualize the vessels, especially the arteries. Seeking early diagnosis from the best angiogram hospital in Coimbatore can significantly reduce the risk of heart-related concerns.

Image-guided Biopsy: 

For diagnostic purposes, image-guided biopsies are performed to retrieve a tissue sample beneath the skin. The interventional radiologist will use cutting needles of various sizes and lengths for this treatment. Tissue samples are typically analyzed chemically and microscopically by pathologists.


Microbeads are inserted into the blood arteries that supply the malignancy, cutting off the supply. These beads are sometimes used before surgery to help remove tumours safely, and with less blood loss, and other times, they are used to cut off blood supply to the tumour to smother and kill it. 

It is possible to employ the beads to either radioactively or chemotherapeutically shrink or destroy the tumour, depending on the type of cancer being treated.

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty:

Spine tumours frequently cause the painful complication of vertebral fractures. Vertebroplasty is a procedure wherein bone cement is injected into a collapsed vertebra to stabilize the spine before the surgical intervention or radiation therapy. Additionally, the cement can be used as a marker for patients undergoing image-guided radiation therapy. 

Patients with tumours of the spine can benefit greatly from the pain relief and spinal support that kyphoplasty provides. The procedure involves inserting and inflating a tiny balloon into the spine. This method makes a cavity in the bone that can be filled with bone cement. Each of these methods has the potential to give patients more freedom of movement. This procedure is referred to as interventional neuroradiology.

Benefits of undergoing interventional radiology:

  • When used, interventional radiology does double duty. It provides quick and easy access to the area of the body in need of medical attention. 
  • It also decreases the likelihood that you will have harmful effects as a result of medical intervention.
  • This is especially crucial when receiving radioactive particle therapy or chemotherapy for cancer, which are extremely powerful medicines that might cause significant harm if delivered systemically. 
  • Thanks to interventional radiology, doctors may target tumours specifically, sparing the healthy tissue around them from harm.
  • In many cases, patients undergoing interventional radiology procedures can go home the same day.
  • Cancer patients are not the only ones who can benefit from interventional radiology. 
  • It’s also used to treat vascular issues like constricted arteries and clots. 
  • In addition to treating kidney and gallstones, IR can be used to insert central lines, which are intravenous tubes inserted deep within the body.

Is interventional radiology worth undergoing?

The current and future uses of IR are increasingly relevant to oncology, leading to the establishment of interventional oncology (IO) as a major subject over the last 10–15 years. Internationally, IO has been recognized as the fourth pillar of oncology care alongside surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology.

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