Interventional radiology is one of the more recent developments in radiology. As a subspecialty, it has evolved from a purely diagnostic application to a therapeutic specialty involving such procedures as balloon dilation of arteries, drainage of abscesses, removal of gallstones, and treatment of benign and malignant structures.
Interventional radiologists, who often work closely with surgeons, use a number of imaging tools to perform procedures like image-guided needle biopsy (removal of tissue or fluids) and percutaneous (through the skin) needle biopsy of thoracic lesions. These procedures rely heavily on the development of imaging technologies like CT and various instruments such as catheters and guide wires. Advantages of interventional radiology over surgery include reduced need for anesthesia, shorter time to perform procedures, and improved therapeutic results.
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