A career in...
Meet the interventionalists
Interventional radiology is an emerging specialty
- By: Vincent Helyar, Kirsty Wilde, Aidan Shaw
You might not know what an interventional radiologist does. Imaging in general does not feature highly on the traditional undergraduate medical curriculum, and the interventional subspecialty even less so. Interventional radiologists or “interventionalists” are doctors who have been trained in diagnostic radiology and have decided to subspecialise in minimally invasive, targeted treatments—“pinhole surgery.” They use ultrasonography, radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging to target a vessel, organ, body cavity, or area of pathology to obtain access, acquire tissue, or deliver treatment. The minimally invasive nature of the image guided approach makes it a less risky and often less painful choice for patients, and often negates the need for open surgery.
From its beginnings in the mid-1960s, interventional radiology has been synonymous with innovation. Almost 2500 patents have been registered by members of the American Society of Interventional Radiologists alone.1 This is an exciting, dynamic, and rapidly expanding area to