‘Interventional radiologist’ (IR) as we call it are Image guided surgeons. We all know about the conventional cut open surgeries since time immemorial but what is image guided surgery? Let us enlighten you about the rapidly evolving field of medicine.
An interventional radiologist is a super specialist surgeon/physician who is trained in radiology and interventional therapy.
They are able to see inside a patient’s body using images (e.g. x-rays, MRIs scans, fluoroscopy, CT scans, and ultrasounds) without really having to cut open the body and thus are able to treat diseases accurately. They do this using thin wires, tubes (catheters) and instruments to reach the exact area of interest within the patient’s body and treat the disease without the need for a cut open surgery!!
So, areas of the body that can be treated with interventional radiology include, but are not limited to: Gynaecological problems: uterine fibroids, Infertility due to tubal blocks; liver tumors, obstructive jaundice; Brain bleeds due to aneurysm, Arterio-venous malformation, STROKE, blood vessel diseases like varicose veins, foot ulcers, diabetic foot, peripheral artery diseases (manifesting as pain after walking few steps); Renal tumors (Radiofrequency ablation); bone pain; back pain; dialysis access management, venous obstructions etc…
Why should anyone choose these minimally invasive treatments treatments over conventional treatments??
It is for the exact same reason as to why you would choose a smart phone instead of a conventional landline---because science has evolved beyond conventional treatments! Few of the benefits that IR offers to patients include: reduced risks, scarless treatment, no pain, shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery time and in most of the cases, patients can go home on the same day after their surgery.
As, we complete 75 Years of Independence, doctors feel that it is imperative that our society is well aware of all the options they have for treatment. Every patient should always discuss these minimally invasive, image guided surgical options with their family physicians.