Interventional Radiology (IR) is a subspecialty of radiology in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance (x-ray, CT, MRI). Some of these procedures are done for diagnostic purposes (e.g., angiogram), while others are treatments for diagnosed conditions (e.g., uterine fibroid embolization, angioplasty). Images taken during the procedure provide road maps to guide interventional radiologists in the placement of their instruments (needles or other tiny instruments like small tubes called catheters) through the body to the areas of interest for diagnosis or treatment.
Interventional radiology can often be an alternative, less invasive approach to treatment of for many conditions including uterine fibroids, vascular disease, biopsies and aneurysms, procedures that have been typically treated surgically. The minimally invasive method of interventional radiology procedures often results in shorter hospital stays and fewer complications.