What are pediatric interventional radiologists and what do they do?
Pediatric interventional radiologists are doctors who perform minimally invasive treatments using imaging guidance. They guide small needles, catheters (tubes) and other minimally invasive medical equipment into the body through tiny incisions in the skin. These minimally invasive instruments are manipulated within in the body by the doctors, who guide the instruments in real time by seeing into the body, using X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound or MRI.
Interventional radiologists ( http://www.sirweb.org/ ) pioneered modern minimally invasive image guided procedures, sometimes called the “surgery of the future,” techniques which have now been disseminated into many other medical specialties. Pediatric radiologists ( http://www.pedrad.org/ ) are doctors who specialize in imaging and treatment of children and their diseases. Pediatric interventional radiologists have expertise in both of these areas.
A few examples of pediatric interventional procedures include:
- Guiding instruments into an area of diseased tissue to take out a sample to diagnose or treat infection or tumor
- Guiding instruments through blood vessels to open blocked vessels from the inside with a small balloon or special high tech metal scaffolding
- Guiding instruments into abnormal or bleeding vessels to block the abnormal blood flow or close off the abnormal vessel
In some cases, pediatric interventional radiology doctors can solve problems more effectively and less invasively than can other techniques, resulting in a faster and more comfortable recovery. In other cases, they can help treat complex medical problems that cannot be solved any other way.
A consultation with a pediatric interventional radiology doctor can help you learn whether such high tech minimally invasive techniques would be helpful for your child’s condition.