Interventional radiology, or image-guided surgery, is a sub-specialty of radiology where minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance.
Some of these procedures are done for purely diagnostic purposes (such as an angiogram), while others are done for treatment purposes (such as angioplasty). Images are used to direct these procedures, which are usually done with needles or other tiny instruments like small tubes called catheters. The images provide road maps that allow an interventional radiologist to guide these instruments through the body to the diseased area.
Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. Interventional radiology treatments offer less pain, risk and recovery time compared to open surgery.
Most interventional radiology procedures are performed using an IV sedative to help you relax. After the procedure, you may have some discomfort in the area of the body where the procedure was performed.