Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Vascular and interventional radiologists use their expertise in reading X-rays, ultrasound, and other medical images to guide small instruments such as catheters through the blood vessels or other pathways to treat disease percutaneously. These procedures are typically much less invasive and much less costly than traditional surgery. These radiologists diagnose and treat diseases by various radiologic imaging modalities including fluoroscopy, digital radiography, computed tomography, sonography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Common interventional radiological procedures include: angioplasty; thrombolytic therapy for blood clots; chemoembolism--delivery of chemotherapy directly to the site of the tumor; infection and abscess drainage; uterine fibroid embolization; removal of a urinary tract or fallopian tube obstruction; needle biopsy; and radiofrequency ablation. Research and technological innovations are rapid in this field. Practice options include academic medical centers, community hospitals, and group private practices.