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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