If you fracture your leg, you will probably get X-rays in the radiology department. X-rays, CT scans, and other imaging technologies have assisted physicians in diagnosing various medical disorders for decades. However, thanks to technological advancements, doctors today can use this technology to cure diseases. Interventional radiology (IR) is a minimally-invasive diagnostic technique used to treat a wide range of adult and pediatric health conditions. At South Florida Vascular Associates, IR is generally less invasive and used as an alternative to laparoscopic or open surgery. Continue reading to learn more.
What Exactly Is IR?
Interventional radiology employs conventional imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and computed tomography (CT). These imaging technologies provide physicians with images of internal structures, such as organs, bones, arteries, and even tumors.
Your physician uses these incredibly precise images to perform minimally invasive procedures by guiding tiny tubes via the blood vessels to the affected tissue. IR effectively treats vascular disease, cardiovascular disease, women’s health problems, spinal issues, and even cancer.
What Are The Common IR Procedures?
Interventional radiology can perform a vast array of IR procedures. Besides, the list is always expanding and evolving. IR is capable of everything, from analyzing tissue to eliminating blood clots. Here are some common procedures to expect from your Interventional Radiologist:
- Angioplasty: the procedure used to unclog or repair blood arteries
- Radiofrequency ablation: This technique is utilized to alleviate nerve discomfort
- Stenting: these are tiny mesh tubes used to treat weak or constricted arteries
- Embolization: Embolization impedes the circulation of blood to cancer cells
- Thrombolysis: This procedure involves the dissolving of blood clotting
- Biopsies: Biopsies examine the body’s tissues
How To Prepare For IR?
When prepping for an interventional radiology treatment, you must inform your physician of any drugs you are currently taking. You should also organize transportation home following the treatment. Here are the additional steps you must take to prep for Interventional Radiology:
- Do not consume any food or beverages after midnight before the operation
- Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue current medications
- Expect your treatment to take several hours
What Happens During Interventional Radiology Procedures?
You should anticipate lying in a darkly lighted, surgical-like environment during an IR procedure. Your specialist might administer an injection at the beginning of the process to deliver any necessary sedative, medicine, or dye. It is uncommon for patients to receive anesthesia for an IR procedure as it is not as complex as open surgery.
The duration of every surgery varies but is often under four hours. After your operation is done, your doctor will monitor you in a recovery room for several hours, then discharge you.
What Are The Benefits Of IR?
Here are some of the benefits of IR:
- Enhanced Efficiency: Imaging technology provides radiologists with enhanced visibility throughout the process; thus, enhancing the precision of your diagnosis and improving patient results.
- Reduced Discomfort: IR treatments require smaller cuts; therefore, no stitching or bandaging that makes a recovery uncomfortable.
- Reduced Expenses: IR treatments are generally outpatient procedures, resulting in reduced costs, unlike surgeries requiring hospitalization.
- Minimal Risks: IR results in reduced blood loss, lower infection danger, and other frequent consequences associated with conventional open surgery.
- Little-to-no Downtime: IR procedures are minimally invasive, so patients enjoy faster recovery times. In fact, most patients return home the same day.
Interventional Radiology offers numerous advantages that standard surgeries or other procedures cannot deliver. After assessing your unique concerns and care objectives, your IR specialist will determine if this care approach is appropriate for you. Call the Florida office near you or book an appointment online today.