Doctor standing over patient lying down administering Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology (IR) is an exciting area of modern medicine delivering precise, targeted treatment for complex diseases and conditions throughout the body. CT, fluoroscopy, mammography, and ultrasound is used to guide needle or catheter (a narrow tube) placement.


    Interventional radiology (IR) is an exciting area of modern medicine delivering precise, targeted treatment for complex diseases and conditions throughout the body. CT, fluoroscopy, mammography, MRI or ultrasound is used to guide a small needle or catheter (a narrow tube) for placement. Interventional radiology can be used to diagnose and/or treat many conditions that once required surgery.

    There are many advantages of IR, some being: it is minimally invasive, most procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, general anaesthesia is usually not required, risk of infection, pain and recovery time are significantly reduced, and procedure cost is much less compared with surgery.


    We will provide you with detailed information about the procedure your doctor has requested, when you make your appointment. Please bring any relevant medical images with you, so we can review your medical information beforehand.

    There is usually a specific preparation required for interventional procedures and this will be discussed with you at the time of booking.

    On the day of your procedure, one of our staff will explain the procedure to you in detail and give you the opportunity to ask any questions. You’ll be asked to read and sign a consent form before the procedure. Depending on the region of interest and the imaging modality, you may be asked to remove jewellery, or clothing with metal clips, zips or buttons as these show up on x-rays. If you need to remove any clothing you will be given a gown to wear.


    Generally, the procedure follows this process:

    You will lie on a bed in a position that enables optimal visualization of the area of interest, and you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds, to reduce movement. The length of the examination varies on the procedure and the body part, but you should expect to be with us for between 30–60 minutes. If you need a more specific time, ask the person who books your appointment.

    The needle or catheter insertion might cause some discomfort. If the radiologist believes it will reduce your discomfort, a local anaesthetic could be given. Our staff will make every effort to minimise any potential pain.  It is very important that you inform our staff if you feel uncomfortable or are in pain prior to and during the procedure so we can make you as comfortable as possible.

    You’ll notice staff in the room during CT and fluoroscopy wear lead gowns and sometimes neck and eye protection to reduce their exposure to radiation.


    If the procedure you had was aimed at reducing pain, you will be given a pain assessment form to complete during the next 10 days. Take this with you next time you see your doctor.

    You might need to remain in the x-ray department for a short time after your procedure, for observation. For some procedures you may need to have someone else to drive you home. This information will be provided when you make your appointment.

    The radiologist who performed your interventional procedure will write a report about the procedure and send that to the doctor who referred you. You will need to return to the health practitioner who referred you to discuss the report and the effectiveness of the procedure.


    As with most medical procedures there are slight risks involved. The risks involved in Interventional Radiology are dependent upon the procedure you have been referred for, however, the benefits generally outweigh the risks.

Find out more about the services we offer in this area

Please note; not all services are listed below, and not all services are available at every site

Under image guidance using ultrasound or CT, a needle or catheter is placed within the chest or abdomen to drain 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.

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line