Arkansas Society of

Radiologic Technologists

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Interventional Radiology

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Interventional radiology (IR) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology utilizing minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. Using X-rays, CT, ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging modalities, interventional radiologists obtain images which are then used to direct interventional instruments throughout the body. These procedures have less risk, less pain and less recovery time in comparison to open surgery. Many conditions that once required open surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, non-surgical interventions can reduce infection rates and recovery time, as well as shorten hospital stays.

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IR procedures are usually performed using needles and narrow tubes called catheters, rather than by making large incisions into the body as in traditional surgery. The general basic tools of IR are needles, sheaths, catheters, and wires, however a large subset of highly specialized tools within, and outside of, these basic categories exist. Specialized devices exist to destroy tumors (ablation probes), treat diseased blood vessels (stents and atherectomy devices), stop bleeds (embolics and coils), stop blood clot migration (IVC filters, distal embolization protection devices), etc.

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The range of diseases and organs amenable to image-guided therapeutic and diagnostic procedures are extensive and constantly evolving and include, but are not limited to, diseases and elements of the vascular, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, genitourinary, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and the central nervous system.

Conditions treated include:

  • Acute and chronic deep vein thrombosis
  • Diseases of the lymphatic system
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations
  • Endoleaks from abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • Cancer (liver, kidney, bone and lung)
  • Peripheral arterial disease/critical limb ischemia (CLI)
  • Vascular malformations/varicose and spider veins
  • Women's health conditions (eg. uterine fibroids, pelvic congestion syndrome)
  • Hemodialysis access dysfunction