Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology is a rapidly growing area of medicine. This subspecialty of Radiology employs imaging to guide procedures using minimally invasive techniques. The Interventional Radiology Department at Newton-Wellesley Hospital serves communities throughout Greater Boston. Our Interventional radiologists are fully trained diagnostic radiologists who have undergone an additional one or two years of training in interventional techniques. The American Board of Radiology and the American Board of Medical Specialists officially recognize the field of interventional radiology as a subspecialty of radiology. It has its own subspecialty board examination and certification.

Procedures may be performed anywhere in the body by using specially designed catheters (thin plastic tubes) and guide wires that can be passed through blood vessels, ducts or other pathways in the body. In most instances, only a small puncture in the skin is necessary, and there is little if any discomfort during the procedure. Most procedures can be performed with only minimal amounts of sedation and while using local anesthetics.

Common Interventional Procedures

  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty
  • Fistulagram
  • G- Tube insertion
  • IVC filters
  • Mediport procedures
  • Nephrostomy tube placement
  • Stent placement
  • Thrombolysis
  • Uterine artery embolization

Preparing for Exam
No food should be eaten for 6 hours prior to your procedure. You may drink the following liquids up to two hours prior to the start of your procedure: water, apple juice or ginger ale.

Medication Use
Please take all scheduled medications except any anitcoagulant medications such as coumadin, plavix, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDS. These anticoagulant medications should be stopped five days prior to your procedure unless otherwise advised by your physician. 

Insulin Patients
For patients who are on insulin

  • Morning (AM) Procedure:  Take half of your prescribed morning dose.
  • Afternoon (PM) Procedure: Please refer to your ordering physician guidelines.
  • You will need to recover post procedure a minimum of 4-6 hours; some patients may be required to stay overnight as specified by your physician. You will need to make arrangements for a ride home after your recovery.

Length of Procedure
Some interventional radiology procedures can take as little a 1 hour while others may require a longer stay or an overnight visit.

Receiving Results
Your doctor will receive a written report of your exam.

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