The most important thing in therapeutic medicine is to make a diagnosis first. Because the treatment of diseases is mostly determined. The first thing the physician does for diagnosis is to question the patient about his complaint. This questioning, which we call taking anamnesis, is followed by a physical examination (examination).
In the physical examination, the physician examines the patient by inspection (looking), palpation (tapping), percussion (tapping) and auscultation (listening), that is, using his five senses. The aim is to find the cause of the patient’s complaint and to reveal the disease. The diagnosis can be made in most cases with a detailed anamnesis and a good physical examination.
In cases where the diagnosis cannot be made, it is necessary to examine the body with methods more sensitive than our five senses. Radiological diagnostic methods come first among the methods used for this purpose. Changes caused by diseases on the body surface are detected with the naked eye (inspection). For example, we can recognize jaundice by looking at the white of the patient’s eyes (sclera).
We can examine the internal cavities of the body by means of advanced optical instruments by entering through natural openings such as the mouth and anus. The general name of this procedure is endoscopy. We can examine the outside of the body directly, and the inner surfaces that we can reach indirectly, through advanced optical instruments, with the naked eye. However, how can we see the internal structures of organs and tissues that we cannot see with the naked eye?
This task falls to radiological diagnostic methods. Radiological diagnostic methods display organs and tissues in the form of a picture, as far as the principles of physics allow. The data in these pictures are not microscopic, they are in sizes that we can see with our eyes. Most of the time, what we see macroscopically in the sections of the diseased organ, we see it in the pictures created by radiological methods. In other words, radiological images are the radiological projections of the patient’s internal structures. Abnormalities appear in the form of disruption of normal anatomy and/or tissue structure on radiological images.
These changes can be local or widespread. Local abnormalities are usually noticed because they are different shades of gray from the organ or tissue in which they are located. In general, these abnormalities lesion is named. As in macroscopic pathology, these lesions may differ in shape, size, margin, internal structure, etc. evaluated by their characteristics.
So, what is Interventional Radiology? Developments in needle and catheter technology, together with the very good visualization of lesions and the ways to reach it with new radiological methods, led to the emergence of a branch of science called interventional radiology, in which fine surgical interventions are applied for the purpose of treating the organism.
In interventional radiology, under the guidance of diagnostic radiology methods, an external intervention is made to the diseased area for treatment. Emptying inflammatory sacs (abscess) on the skin of the body, treatment of hydatid disease, which is transmitted through dogs and forms water sacs in the internal organs (hydatid cyst), opening of biliary tract obstructions, widening of vascular stenosis, occlusion of vessel bubbles (aneurysm) or dissolving of new clot in the vessel (thrombus). Many procedures are the application areas of interventional radiology.
After summarizing the question of what is interventional radiology, let’s talk about its place in modern medicine. Interventional radiology, which has developed rapidly in recent years, is being applied more and more widely in all fields of medicine. The method eliminates surgery and therefore general anesthesia in many cases. In cases where the operation is risky, it ensures that the surgery is performed after the general condition of the patient improves. In many cases, it facilitates surgery by reducing bleeding and reducing tumor size.
The application of interventional radiological methods provides very important economic benefits by shortening the hospital stay of the patient and in some cases eliminating the surgery.
With these features, interventional radiology has brought new dimensions to radiology with the development of imaging methods and has made it the most rapidly developing and impressive branch of modern medicine.