The Growing Demand for Interventional Radiology - Townsen Memorial Hospital Group

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Using the least invasive techniques that are currently available to diagnose and treat patients is the concept behind Interventional Radiology. These techniques not only improve health outcomes for the patient, but come with a minimized risk. 

What Is Interventional Radiology And How Does It Work?

In interventional radiology (also called IR), doctors use medical imaging to guide minimally invasive surgical procedures that diagnose, treat, and cure many kinds of conditions. Imaging modalities used include fluoroscopy, MRI, CT, and ultrasound. Interventional radiologists make small incisions, usually in your abdomen, and use needles and catheters to treat conditions inside your body. Medical images are used to guide the catheters through the blood vessels, arteries, and organs. 

IR procedures have many benefits such as being more cost-efficient, it comes with less risk, less pain, and less recovery time than traditional surgeries. Due to these reasons, IR has become the primary way to treat many types of conditions. The treatments IR can effectively perform are ever-changing and expanding.

Some examples of IR procedures include Angioplasty, Stenting, Thrombolysis, Embolization, Radiofrequency Ablation, and Biopsies. 

Due to advancements in catheter-based therapies, what once required large, open surgeries and months of recovery time is now replaced with minimally-invasive procedures performed by Interventional Radiologists. For instance, uterine fibroids are the most common benign tumors in reproductive-aged women. They can cause debilitating pain, and what used to required either a myomectomy or hysterectomy can now be done with an IR intervention called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). UFE is a minimally invasive alternative to the majorly invasive myomectomy or hysterectomy with a shorter hospital stay and recovery time. UFE has been shown to be safe and effective however, it is underutilized simply due to patients being unaware of the procedure. 

There is a need for the growing role of Interventional Radiologists. Advancements have come a long way in the last 20 years and with more exposure and patient education, IR could become a widespread option for many.

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit or call 1-877-494-9487.