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Learn More About Diagnostic Radiology
Interventional radiology, also called IR, is a very specialized area within an imaging department. Procedures such as angiograms (study of arteries), angioplasty (ballooning of vessel blockages), drain insertions and intravenous access catheters are all done here by specialized physicians on the medical staff with privileges to perform these procedures.
We use many different types of advanced technology such as fluoroscopy (real time X-ray) and ultrasound to assist with visualizing blood vessels. We can both diagnose and treat a variety of disease processes right in the IR room. Nurses, interventional technologists and physicians on the medical staff, are all part of the team that work together to treat patients in IR.
Patients having interventional procedures must have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before their exam. (The exception would be a small sip of water to take critical medications.) Restrictions to certain medications may be required.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home, after about a 2-6 hour recovery time (depending on what procedure was preformed). Your physician or a pre procedure call from a nurse will give you instructions concerning your specific preparation.
Your specific exam will be explained to you in detail by the physician performing the procedure prior to obtaining your informed written consent. The IR staff is there to answer additional questions if you have any.
Normally an IV is started and blood work drawn for your safety. The type of procedure will determine if you receive any sedation whether it is local, moderate or general anesthesia. You will be brought into the interventional room and a surgical prep will be done at the procedure site.
The interventional staff will provide warm blankets, special sponges and arm supports to make you as comfortable as possible during the study.
After your procedure is over, you will usually be taken to the recovery area for an hour or so, to let the sedation wear off. You will typically stay for a total of 2-6 hours after a procedure, just to ensure you aren't having any problems before going home.
You will then be released into the care of a relative or friend. The X-ray images and procedure will be reviewed by the physician who did your study. A full report will be forwarded to your referring physician so everyone stays informed.
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