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What is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional Radiology (IR) is a medical specialty that relies on the use of radiological image guidance (X-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasound, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging) to precisely target therapy. Most IR treatments are minimally invasive alternatives to open and laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.

The essential skills of an Interventional Radiologist combine diagnostic image interpretation and the use of small catheter tubes, probes and wires to navigate inside the body under imaging guidance. No other specialist possesses this unique combination of skills.

There is hardly any area of medicine where IR has not had some impact on patient management. The range of conditions that can be treated by IR is continually expanding. Well recognised advantages of these minimally invasive techniques include reduced risk, shorter hospital stay, lower cost, greater comfort, and quicker. Most IR procedures are done on an outpatient basis, avoiding hospitalization altogether. The effectiveness of treatment is often better than with traditional treatments.

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