The clinical subspecialty that uses fluoroscopy, CT, and ultrasound to guide percutaneous (through the skin) procedures such as performing biopsies, draining fluids, inserting catheters, or dilating or stenting narrowed ducts or vessels.
Interventional radiologists are physicians specializing in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. They use X-rays, MRI and other imaging to insert a catheter in the body, usually in an artery, to treat at the source of the disease non-surgically. As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, which were first used in the legs to treat peripheral arterial disease, interventional radiologists pioneered minimally invasive modern medicine.
Today many conditions that once required surgery can be treated nonsurgically by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology treatments offer less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery.