Interventional radiology procedures generally are less stressful for children than alternative surgical procedures. They usually are less painful and require a shorter hospital stay, and the children need less nursing care. The recovery time is likely to be shorter, too, meaning children can be out of bed sooner.
There are a number of medical conditions in infants and children that can be treated by an interventional radiologist, who works closely with the child's pediatrician or other primary care doctor. Some procedures for children that are often performed by interventional radiologists include:
Angiography is a special type of X-ray exam that is performed to diagnose conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, liver disease or other conditions. The exam also can show areas of blockage in the blood vessels, which may be treated by a procedure called angioplasty.
Biopsy is performed to obtain a sample of tissue needed to diagnose a medical problem.
Central venous access catheters
Central venous access catheters are placed to reduce the need for frequent needlesticks in children who require regular infusions of fluid, medication or food directly into the blood stream.
Gastrostomy tubes are inserted directly into the stomach or small intestine of children who are unable to take nutrition or medications by mouth.
Reprinted with permission of the Society of Interventional Radiology © 2004, www.SIRweb.org. All rights reserved.