What is interventional radiology (IR)?
IR uses imaging to help physicians perform a variety of minimally invasive procedures with less pain, less risk and quicker recovery time than regular surgery.
Ultrasound is the most common imaging method used. Others include:
IR can be used to diagnose and treat disorders or perform other procedures. The most common uses are:
- Placement of feeding and drainage tubes, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and shunts
- Needle biopsies
- Drainage of abscesses or other abnormal collections of pus/fluid in the body
IR may be used instead of surgery to treat diseases including kidney or liver problems, and blood clots.
Benefits of minimally invasive procedures include:
- Higher levels of safety and efficiency
- Possibility of avoiding surgery
- Less painful than open surgery
- Shorter recovery time
- Small incision that usually requires no stitches and causes less scarring
- Usually less costly than surgery
How do I prepare my child for an IR procedure?
There may be special rules about preparing for the test your child will have. Be sure to write down and follow any directions you are given. If you forget or if you have questions, call us at 832-TC4-XRAY (832-824-9729).
What happens during an IR procedure?
Before and during the procedure, a child-life specialist can help your child relax and feel more comfortable by providing coaching and distraction tailored to your child’s developmental level. Sometimes this helps reduce the need for sedation.
Your child may be able to have this procedure while awake, with local numbing medication at the needle site.
If your child is young or unable to lie still, he may need to be given medicine to help him relax or sleep. This is called sedation or anesthesia. Depending on the test, sedation or anesthesia may be given by mouth, shot or IV (a needle connected to a tiny tube).
If sedation is given, you will return to the waiting room during the test. What happens during the procedure and how long it takes depends on the type of procedure and type of imaging used. The average length of time is 30 minutes, but more complex procedures can take several hours.
What happens after an IR procedure?
After the procedure, the interventional radiologist will speak to you. You will be able to see your child after the procedure. If your child receives sedation or anesthesia we will carefully monitor him until he is fully awake. We will give you instructions about any activity and dietary restrictions.
Why choose Texas Children’s?
As one of the premier pediatric radiology departments, we offer a full range of specialized interventional radiology (IR) procedures.
- Our specially trained, board-certified pediatric physicians are among the most experienced and accomplished in the nation
- We uses child-sized miniature tools and leading-edge technology to care for patients from less than 1 pound to adults
- Your child’s comfort is our priority. When necessary, we can provide sedation or general anesthesia.
- In our outpatient IR clinic, we meet and assess the child before treatment. After the procedure, we answer questions and provide guidance to parents.
- An extensively trained support staff includes child-life specialists (link) who can help your child relax.