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Interventional Radiology

​What is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional radiology is the use of imaging equipment to guide insertion of vascular lines, biopsy and treatment of tumour and bleeding using minimally invasive tools. These include specialised tubes called catheters and guide wires. Interventional radiologists also use US and CT to guide placement of special probes which can burn (ablate) tumours to kill cancer cells. They can also use real time x-rays (i.e.  fluoroscopy) together with contrast dye to place wire coils into vessels to stop bleeding.

Is Interventional Radiology Safe?

The risk of an interventional radiology procedure varies with the difficulty of the procedure. Some common risks include bleeding, infection and allergic reactions. Each procedure is unique and the risks will be explained to the patient by the CGH Care Team. Interventional radiology procedures that involve x-rays, are not recommended for pregnant patients.

Examples of Interventional Procedures:
  • Biopsy of a lung tumour under CT guidance to obtain samples for diagnosis.
  • Radio frequency ablation of liver and renal tumour using a specialised probe that kills cancer cells by burning with radiowaves.
  • Special tubes called lines can be inserted to the deep veins or heart to allow delivery of chemotherapy or for temporary renal dialysis.