Interventional radiology
Interventional radiologists employ image guidance methods to gain access to the deep interstices of most organs and organ systems. Through a galaxy of techniques, they can treat certain conditions percutaneously (through the skin) that might otherwise require surgery. (The technology includes the use of balloons, catheters, microcatheters, stents, therapeutic embolization (deliberately clogging up a blood vessel), etc.) The specialty of interventional radiology is growing and becoming increasingly diverse. It overlaps with other surgical arenas including interventional cardiology, vascular surgery, endoscopy, laparoscopy and other minimally invasive techniques, such as biopsies. Specialists performing interventional radiology procedures today include not only radiologists but also other types of doctors including general surgeons, vascular surgeons, cardiologists (heart doctors), gastroenterologists (GI specialists), gynecologists, and urologists (urinary specialists).

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the performance of therapeutic or diagnostic procedures under the control of an appropriate imaging technique. Guidance is commonly by X-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasound, or computerized tomography, and recently also by magnetic resonance imaging. Procedures commonly performed include the placing of vascular catheters, drainage of fluid collections or abscesses, stenting of obstructions to the gastrointestinal tract or blood vessels, embolization, cryotherapy, and radiofrequency ablation. Imaging is also used in many forms of minimally invasive surgery. See angioplasty, cholangiography, percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

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the branch of radiology concerned with providing diagnosis and treatment of disease by a variety of percutaneous procedures performed under the guidance of radiologic imaging.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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