- Risk, pain, and recovery time are significantly reduced in many cases.
- Many procedures can be performed without an overnight stay in the hospital.
- General anesthesia is usually not required.
- Procedures are often less expensive than the surgical alternatives.
What is the Difference Between a Surgeon and an Interventional Radiologist?
Interventional Radiologists use sophisticated, state-of-the-art X-Ray and other imaging devices to guide tiny catheters and other small tools through the body to treat disease without surgery. These tools enter the body through openings in the skin as small as the tip of a pencil.
A traditional surgeon makes an incision (a cut) to open up an area of the body, looks inside to determine what is wrong, fixes it and then closes the incision with stitches, staples, tape or other means.
A minimally invasive surgeon makes a smaller incision, places a scope ( a large metal tube) inside the body to determine what is wrong, fixes it and then closes the incision.
An interventional Radiologist is able to see inside the body of a patient without making a surgical incision but rather by using various X-Ray and other imaging techniques.
The Interventional Radiologist makes a tiny nick in the skin about the size of the tip of a pencil and guides a thin tube (catheter) and tiny, fine instruments to the site of a problem. The Interventional Radiologist then fixes the problem and removes the catheter and instrument. Stitches generally are not needed, and procedures rarely require general anesthesia.