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BODY ICON (updates ongoing)



Interventional radiology (IR) is one of the most innovative and fastest-growing specialities in the field of medicine. An interventional radiologist is a doctor who performs image-guided procedures, fully interprets the imaging required to guide and monitor a patient’s response to those procedures and provides pre and post procedural care for our patients. We have been developing innovative alternatives to open surgery since the 1960s but it has really been in the last 20 years that we have seen major advances in what we can achieve, with the development of modern imaging and operative technologies. These allow us to perform the most complex of tasks through a small pinpick in the skin, advancing catheters, guidewires or needles to targets deep inside the body, while avoiding damage to critical surrounding tissues. Our operating theatres contain imaging equipment such as ultrasound machines, X-ray machines and CT scanners so that we can monitor the operation in real time.

Because of this keyhole approach, IR procedures are often termed ‘minimally invasive’ and rightly so. It means patients usually heal from their operation far more speedily, have no obvious scar and can often have pretty complex procedures performed without having to stay longer than a few hours in hospital, meaning that patients can get back to their normal lives more quickly.

IR targets many of today’s toughest medical problems, including vascular disease, many types of cancer and men’s and women’s health conditions with minimal discomfort and unprecedented precision. IR’s culture of continuous innovation has led to development of targeted treatments for virtually every organ system in the body. Innovative treatments developed by interventional radiologists are now used routinely across all fields of medicine.

Briefer descriptions of various Interventional Radiology procedures can be found in the patient information sheets available here.  The information sheets are designed to provide concise, clear accurate accounts of the most common interventional radiological procedures.


Patient Stories

Here you can read about patient's experiences of Interventional Radiology or Image guided surgery and how we have helped them .



The Society cannot respond to individual enquiries regarding the specific treatments for individual patients, as these decisions require a proper doctor patient relationship with full knowledge of the clinical history and other salient facts.  This can only be achieved through a clinical consultation.  Questions regarding whether and when a treatment is recommended or concerning cost effectiveness are in the remit of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and specific recommendations can be viewed on the NICE website

BSIR as an organisation do not recommend treatments either to individual patients or to groups of patients.  We make our expert review available through the appropriate National bodies such as NICE etc.  The Society does not collect information on the  availability of treatments through the NHS or privately.

The Society will occasionally issue a position statement regarding treatments for certain conditions.