Learn more about Coastal Vascular Center!  Here are answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.

What is interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology and image guided medicine is a specialized area of medical care that treats conditions and diseases in patients by threading miniscule tubes, known as catheters, through the organs and arteries of the body using x rays, ultrasound, MR and CT imaging to guide them. Interventional radiology allows healthcare specialists to better deliver treatment directly to disease sites, obtain biopsies, open blocked blood vessels and a complete a wide range of other procedures.

How long do interventional radiology procedures take?

This completely depends on the specific procedure being performed for each individual patient. Dr. Ayar or other members of the Coastal Vascular staff can tell you exactly what to expect for your procedure. Preparation time can take up to one hour, and recovery times can range from 1-6 hours, again depending on the procedure. Interventional radiology procedures for the heart tend to have the longest recovery times.

How is this different from diagnostic radiology?

Diagnostic radiology is an important tool in healthcare. It is used to diagnose conditions in patients. It differs from interventional radiology in that though there may be a diagnostic or confirmatory aspect to interventional radiology, interventional radiology is generally used to treat medical conditions.

Is there pain associated with interventional radiology?

In terms of pain associated with medical procedures, pain caused by interventional radiology is typically minimal as the procedures themselves are minimally invasive. However, we do control pain for our patients using localized numbing and conscious sedation.

What are the main benefits of interventional radiology?

Interventional radiology procedures are performed using tiny catheters or wires that enter the body through small incisions in the skin. These effective treatments are minimally invasive, which means patients are often in and out of the clinic in the same day. Recovery times are also much shorter, complications much less likely, and medical bills much lower.

Will I have to be put under for interventional radiology procedures?

Generally speaking, no. These procedures are designed to be minimally invasive and to minimize the time a patient has to spend as a patient in a clinic as opposed to a person living his or her life. There may be rare occasions in which an interventional radiologist may prefer to put a patient to sleep, but this will be discussed in detail with the patient.

What techniques do interventional radiologists use for the actual treatment of disease?

Because interventional radiology is a branch of radiology, electromagnetism or radiation is frequently used to target and treat conditions and diseases in the patient.

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