Interventional radiology is a subspecialty of radiology employing minimally invasive image guided techniques to provide targeted treatment  for specific conditions. This include a variety of conditions involving the whole body.

The start of any interventional radiology procedure involves the placement of a needle in a specific location using imaging guidance. This is most common using ultrasound or fluoroscopy. After the needle is in the correct position, treatment may be given via this needle or it can be used to insert a combination of  contrast, guidewires and catheters which can then be navigated inside the body to different sites to deliver therapy.

The most basic forms of IR are image guided biopsies whereby ultrasound or CT is used to guide a biopsy needle to a lesion or organ to obtain a sample. More complex procedures are intravascular procedures which are performed inside arteries and veins to either open blockages or intentionally block vessels that might be leaking or be supplying tumours. Drainage catheters can also be inserted to drain a variety of collections and therapeutic injections can be performed in multiple joints.

Preparation for the CT depends on the specific procedure and  will usually be given when an appointment is made. Blood tests may be required to confirm adequate blood clotting abilities and renal function.

Currently we mainly perform interventional radiology at our St Anne's branch, but also do limited interventional procedures at our  Hilton branch.

Specific IR procedures:

  • Image guided biopsies
  • Percutaneous abscess drainage
  • Dialysis catheter placement(pdf) 
  • Tunnelled chemotherapy lines (Ports and Groshong lines) 
  • Fistulagram and plasty (Av fistula managment)
  • IVC filters
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTC) with biliary drainage and stenting
  • Nephrostomy
  • Ureteric stents
  • Foreign body removal
  • Joint injections
  • Trans jugular liver biopsy
  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) and stenting - Arterial and venous
  • Arterial embolisation
  • Thrombolysis
  • Uterine fibroid embolisation
  • Gastrostomy tubes
  • Thrombolysis
  • Other various IR procedures that may be considered upon specific requests.

See www.radiologyinfo.org for more information on radiological studies and procedures.