Interventional Radiology (IR) refers to a range of techniques which rely on the use image guidance (using X-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT or MRI) to precisely target therapy. Most IR treatments are minimally invasive alternatives to open and laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. IR procedures are sometimes called pinhole surgery as they involve passing a needle through the skin to reach the target tissue region.
IR treatment is often better than traditional methods. The advantages of minimally invasive techniques include reduced risks, lower costs, quicker recovery and therefore better outcomes for patients.
An interventional radiologist is skilled in both the diagnostic image interpretation and the manipulation of needles, fine catheter tubes and wires to navigate around the body under imaging control. They are unique amongst doctors in that interventional radiologists are doctors who are trained in radiology and interventional therapy.