Interventional radiology is a sub-speciality used to diagnose or treat abnormalities throughout the body. CT, fluoroscopy, mammography, MRI or ultrasound is used to guide needle or catheter (a narrow tube) placement. Interventional radiology can be used to diagnose or treat many conditions that once required surgery.
Advantages of interventional radiology:
- Most procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis
- General anaesthesia usually is not required.
- Infection risk, pain and recovery time are significantly reduced, and
- Procedure cost is much less compared with surgery.
South Coast Radiology has experienced radiologists who specialise in interventional procedures, which are performed at the following South Coast Radiology locations:
- John Flynn Private Hospital
- Pindara Private Hospital
- Smith Street
- Runaway Bay
- The Women’s Imaging Centre, Southport
- Tweed Heads
However, not all sites perform all procedures. For optimal patient care, some must be performed at a hospital site.
After an interventional procedure
The radiologist who performs the interventional procedure will write a report about the procedure and send that to the referrer.
Patients will be advised to return to their doctor to discuss the effectiveness of the procedure. If the procedure the patient had was aimed at reducing pain, he or she will be given a pain assessment form to complete during the next 10 days and asked to take that next time they see their doctor.
Processing and reporting of images could take up to two hours. If you are a registered a referrer you can access your patients’ scans and reports through our secure online archival system, or view the films we provide. For more information about registering to access patient images visit the Access Medinexus Portal section.
If you require the results for a follow up appointment on the day of the procedure, your patient can wait for the films and we will fax or email the results to you.
Under image guidance using ultrasound or CT, a needle or catheter is placed within the chest or abdomen, to drain the abnormal fluid collection. The patient must remain very still while the fluid is being drained and remain in the department after the procedure for observation.
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) and core biopsy
Abnormal breast tissue is usually detected by physical examination, ultrasound or mammography. However, imaging tests can’t always differentiate benign lesions from cancer, and so FNA and core biopsy are used to define the true nature of abnormal areas found on ultrasound or mammography.
For FNA a fine 25-gauge needle is inserted under ultrasound or x-ray guidance into the abnormal area, and then cells are aspirated for viewing under a microscope. Some solid lesions will benefit from core biopsy. At Couth Coast Radiology we have an expert pathologist onsite during these procedures to ensure an adequate sample has been obtained.
People who suffer acute or chronic spine pain affecting the neck, buttocks, legs or arms might benefit from a nerve block injection to achieve temporary pain relief. A nerve block is used to treat a particular nerve or group of nerves by injecting an anaesthetic or anti-inflammatory agent, which will switch-off pain signals or decrease inflammation. CT or fluoroscopy is used for needle guidance, to ensure the needle is correctly placed to maximise pain relief.
Steroid injections are used to relieve acute or chronic pain. A combination of hydrocortisone and long-acting local anaesthetic is injected into or around a bursa, joint or nerve depending on the cause of pain. CT, fluoroscopy or ultrasound is used for needle guidance, to ensure the needle is correctly placed to maximise pain relief.