INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY, commonly abbreviated as IR, is a branch of Radiology in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using imaging techniques that offer real-time guidance. The images provide a road map allowing the Interventional Radiologist to guide various instruments throughout the body in order to perform a wide array of procedures. This differs from traditional Radiology, which simply involves the interpretation of images for diagnostic purposes.
Interventional Radiology is sometimes referred to as VIR for Vascular and Interventional Radiology. This is because Interventional Radiology involves procedures done for both diagnostic purposes (e.g. angiography) as well as procedures done for treatment (e.g. angioplasty). Common procedures in Interventional Radiology include balloon angioplasty and stent placement, embolization, drain insertion, tissue biopsy, thrombolysis (i.e. clot dissolution), line insertion, and IVC (inferior vena cava) filters.
Litigation against Interventional Radiologists commonly involves complications encountered during the performance of interventional procedures, such as when a procedure results in perforation of a structure or injury to an adjacent area. Interventional Radiologists also serve as causation experts by discussing what would have occurred had timely intervention been undertaken.