Angiographic and interventional radiologic techniques are also performed with injection of contrast material. In this instance, catheter insertion or needle placement is performed under fluoroscopic guidance, so that a particular vessel or organ can be seen and, in some instances, repaired via the catheter.
A classic example is angioplasty, for which a catheter is threaded into an obstructed vessel. An attached balloon is inflated to increase the opening of the vessel-thus improving blood supply to the tissues. This procedure is commonly performed on vessels in the heart, abdomen, and legs. As one might expect, these interventional techniques are complex procedures, involving teams of nurses, doctors, and radiographers working together.
The great advantage is that angioplasty and other image-guided interventional procedures replace the need and risks of surgery and general anaesthesia for many patients. The interventional service offers more specific information and advice for patients undergoing these procedures.