Interventional Radiology procedures are a form of minimally invasive surgery. Using imaging techniques, an interventional physician, or interventionalist, can diagnose and treat problems throughout the body and brain using small incisions and a variety of instruments to fix problems that previously often required major surgery. An interventionalist can fix problems that occur in your arteries—the blood vessels that bring nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to your body from your heart—and veins—the blood vessels that return oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart.
For example, blockages in arteries can cause you to have trouble walking (claudication) or to develop pain and even ulcers in your feet. Blood clots in your leg veins can become dislodged and travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). A weakened artery wall (aneurysm) in the abdomen can burst. Interventional neuroradiology deals with minimally invasive endovascular treatment of vascular diseases of the head and neck, brain, and spine. Commonly treated conditions include aneurysms, vascular malformations, tumors, and vaso-occlusive disease.