Interventional radiology (IR) is a medical
specialty that performs minimally invasive
treatments using radiologic imaging for procedure guidance.
Interventional Radiology treatments have become the primary method of care for a variety of conditions, offering less risk, less pain and less recovery time, compared to open surgery.
Interventional radiologists are board-certified, fellowship trained physicians who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. Interventional radiologists must graduate from an accredited medical school, pass a licensing examination, and complete at least five years of graduate medical education (residency). In addition, interventional radiologists have several different paths to board certification.
This specialized training is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and takes place in accredited training programs. Interventional radiologists are certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) in both Diagnostic Radiology and Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Interventional radiologists have had extensive training and must show expertise in radiation safety, radiation physics, the biological effects of radiation and injury prevention. They must offer the most comprehensive knowledge of the least invasive treatments available coupled with diagnostic and clinical experience.
Interventional radiologists use x-rays, CT, MRI or other imaging guidance to navigate small instruments, like catheters and needles, through blood vessels and organs to treat a variety of diseases. Examples of treatments administered by interventional radiologists include angioplasty, stenting, thrombolysis, embolization, image-guided thermal ablation, and biopsies. These minimally invasive treatments can cure or alleviate symptoms of vascular disease, stroke, uterine fibroids, or cancer. They are also experts at reading x-rays, ultrasounds, CTs, MRIs, and other forms of medical imaging.