Interventional radiology is the use of imaging with minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and treat certain conditions. 

About the procedure

The idea behind interventional radiology is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques currently available.. This is in order to minimise risk to the patient and improve their health outcomes. These procedures have less risk, less pain and less recovery time when compared with open surgery.

Interventional radiology (IR) is now a therapeutic and diagnostic specialty that includes a wide range of minimally invasive image guided therapeutic procedures, as well as minimally invasive diagnostic imaging. The range of diseases and organs amenable to image-guided therapeutic and diagnostic procedures are constantly evolving, and include diseases of the vascular, gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary and genitourinary systems.

As part of IR practice, IR radiologists provide patient assessment and management relevant to image-guided interventions in association with other physicians or independently. IR procedures have become a core part of medical care.


There are various preparations that you may need to make, depending on the type of IR procedure you are having. If preparation is required, you will be informed in advance in your appointment letter.

If you are on regular medication and are unsure of instructions around it at the time of your procedure, please contact us.

All IR procedures need a referral letter from your consultant.

What happens during the IR procedure?

There are various processes depending on the type of IR procedure you are having. Your particular procedure steps will be explained to you by your referrer and also when you give your informed consent for the procedure to be performed. 

What happens after the IR procedure?

In most cases, you will remain in the Radiology Department recovery area for a short time, under radiology nurse observation. 

Your imaging is then studied by the radiologist (doctor who uses X-rays to diagnose and treat illnesses), and the results will be sent to the doctor who referred you. 

You may already have an appointment with the doctor who referred you. If not, you may need to contact them to discuss the results and any potential treatment you may need.

If you are a hospital inpatient, the results will be available to the doctors looking after you on the ward.

Do I need to bring anything?

It is advised that you wear comfortable clothing that can be easily changed. Minimal jewellery is also advised, as this will need to be removed. 

Getting results

Results will be sent to your referring clinician. Outpatients will receive results at their next outpatient appointment. Inpatients will receive their results from their in-house doctor.

Related services

Fine needle ultrasound scan & aspiration

What does ultrasound involve?

Upon arrival, please check in at the main radiology reception.

For the ultrasound procedure, you will be asked to lie down on a couch and a gel will be applied to your skin over the area to be scanned.  The radiologist will move a handheld sensor over your skin while viewing images on a screen.  On completion, the gel will be wiped off and you will be free to get dressed.


Thyroid ultrasound & fine needle aspiration ultrasound appointments

If you are taking ASPRIN, WARFARIN, CLEXANE or PLAVIX medication, you need to contact the department as soon as possible, unless your doctor has already informed you on what to do. All these medications need to be stopped ten days prior to your appointment date.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For all other ultrasound and fine needle aspiration appointments, there is no preparation is required for your scan. 

Can I go back to work after the scan?

You may go back to work as soon as the ultrasound is completed. Your results will be sent to your referring doctor within ten working days.

If you are unable to attend for your appointment or if you have any further queries, please notify us as soon as possible.