Q: What are interventional radiologists, and what are the advantages of their procedures?
A: Interventional radiologists receive specialized training in minimally invasive, targeted treatments which are performed using imaging for guidance. They use their expertise in reading X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, CT and other diagnostic imaging to guide tiny instruments such as catheters into blood vessels or needles through the skin, to treat conditions that once required surgical procedures. While no treatment is risk-free, the risks of interventional radiology procedures are far lower than the risks of open surgery and are a major advancement in medicine for patients. Most procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis or require a very short hospital stay. General anesthesia is usually not required. Risk, pain and recovery time are significantly reduced. Procedures can also be less expensive than surgery or other alternatives.
- Dr. Justin Calvert, interventional radiologist, Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
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