Read Our FAQs to Find Out More
Q. What is Interventional Radiology (IR)?
A. It is a medical specialty which focuses on minimally invasive image guided treatments.
Q. What training do IR physicians undergo?
A. After obtaining a four year undergraduate degree, Interventional Radiologists attend medical school for 4 years and receive a Doctor of Medicine. Recent graduates then do a one year internship. All graduates then complete a 4 year Diagnostic Radiology residency and a one year fellowship program in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. In addition to passing the usual medical licensing exams, Interventional Radiologists also are board certified in Diagnostic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. IR physicians must be actively involved in continuing medical education to stay abreast of new developments in the field. All IR physicians must pass a recertification examination every 10 years.
Q. What types of treatments do IR doctors offer?
A. IR doctors offer a wide variety of treatments involving many organ systems and disorders. The unifying factor is that the treatments are done with technologically advanced imaging equipment such as fluoroscopy, ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) and are minimally invasive. Most procedures are performed through a tiny, ~3mm incision. The majority of the procedures are done on an outpatient basis and do not require general anesthesia. Examples of treatments offered by IR doctors are: angioplasty and stenting of narrowed blood vessels outside of the heart; embolization of fibroid tumors of the uterus; endovenous laser treatment of varicose veins; embolization of liver tumors; placement of chest ports for chemotherapy; maintenance of dialysis access; drainage of abscesses; biopsy of masses in the neck, chest or abdomen; placement of feeding tubes and steroid injections for relief of back pain.
Q. How do I know if an IR physician can treat my problem?
A. Many patients are referred to an IR physician by another doctor. However IR physicians also accept direct patient referrals for many problems such as peripheral arterial disease, varicose veins and uterine fibroids. To schedule a consultation with one of the IR physicians of Charleston Radiologists P.A., call 824-0606.