What to Expect During an Interventional Radiology Procedure”


Interventional radiology: The term may sound complex, even a bit intimidating. But don't worry; today's blog post is here to guide you through exactly what interventional radiology is and how it has the power to revolutionize healthcare as we know it!

At its core, interventional radiology is a branch of medicine that uses imaging equipment (like X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds) to guide tiny instruments (such as wires and small tubes like catheters) through the body to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. 

Rather than making large incisions that disrupt the body, these procedures use microscopic entry points and minimally invasive tools to target the exact source of the problem.

So why aren't more people jumping on board with this innovative form of treatment? Perhaps it's because they don't know what to expect. That's where we come in. 

At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we want to provide patients with a clear and transparent view of interventional radiology. By walking you through a typical procedure from start to finish, we hope to alleviate any fears or reservations you may have. 

The truth is that undergoing any medical procedure can be nerve-wracking. But with the advances in interventional radiology, patients can receive the care they need without undergoing major surgery. Let us show you the benefits of this exciting and innovative field!

Recap: What is Interventional Radiology? 

Before diving into the details of a typical procedure, let's first start with a quick reminder of what exactly interventional radiology is in the first place. If you've already read our “Understanding Interventional Radiology" blog post, you might be familiar. But if not, allow us to recap here. 

Interventional radiology is a medical subspecialty distinguished by the use of advanced imaging equipment (such as radiographs) to guide minimally invasive procedures through the body’s vascular network. 

What exactly does this mean, in simple terms? It means that we are able to perform major, life-changing procedures for some of the most complex conditions without creating large surgical incisions.

There are many benefits to this less-is-more style approach, including reduced risk compared to traditional surgery, less pain, and shorter recovery times. Plus, office-based IR procedures are often more affordable because they are done on an outpatient basis. 

Before Your Procedure

When patients begin their care with us, it all starts with a consultation. During this initial visit, patients can expect to meet their physician to discuss their symptoms and concerns. Then, the doctor will review any imaging you may have already obtained and work together with you to devise an appropriate treatment plan. 

Scheduling a consultation often doesn't necessitate a referral from your primary care doctor. This is applicable to many commercial plans and Medicare. However, it's worth noting that certain insurance plans may have this requirement in place prior to the consultation.

If any additional imaging or testing is recommended during your consultation, our Medical Assistant will send a request to whichever service center you prefer. If necessary, our authorization team will collaborate with your insurance company to get these procedures approved as quickly as possible. 

Once these additional diagnostics are obtained, we can begin scheduling your procedure. 

Day of Procedure

It’s finally here - the day that your procedure will take place! The air is teeming with anticipation as you pull into our parking lot. 


Check-in begins one hour before the procedure. During this time, our nursing team will take you and your family back to an exam room where you will be prepped. Typically, this includes starting an IV line, providing further education on your procedure, and meeting your physician again for final consultation and consent. 

Preparation and Sedation

The patient is then taken into the procedure room, draped, and the sedation begins. At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we employ both conscious sedation and MAC (Modified Anesthesia Care) depending on case and patient needs.

Once you are fully prepped and sedated, your physician will come into the room and perform the procedure. Afterwards, you will be gently escorted to one of our recovery bays where you can rest until the sedation has fully worn off. 


One of our primary goals here at Vascular and Interventional Partners is to make your brief visit with us as comfortable as possible. In our recovery suite, you can rest and recuperate from your procedure by kicking back to watch TV (using one of our many available streaming services) and enjoying a wide selection of complimentary snacks and drinks. 

At this point, your family and friends are welcome to join you as well. While you recover, we will come in at regular intervals to check your vitals and procedure access site until you are deemed safe to discharge. 

And voila! After just a few short hours, you’re ready to go home. 

How Long Does a Typical IR Procedure Take?

Every procedure we perform here at Vascular and Interventional Partners has its own unique timeline. But to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Chemotherapy Port Placement and Biopsies are approximately 2 to 2.5 hours from door-to-discharge
  • Most Angiograms and Embolization procedures are 4 to 4.5 hours from door-to-discharge
  • Prostate Artery Embolization procedures typically take 5.5 hours from door-to-discharge

If you don’t see your procedure listed here, don’t worry! Our team will be able to provide you with a more precise estimated timeline during your initial consultation so that you can plan ahead. 

Follow-Up Care

Follow-up care is managed by our Advanced Practice Provider Team and will look different for every patient as each procedure has its own specific follow-up protocol. 

For treatments of chronic conditions, such as uterine fibroids, knee pain, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, patients should plan to be rechecked at regular intervals for about six months before being released from our care with an “all clear!”

Patients who are receiving treatment for liver tumors, however, will have regular follow-up visits indefinitely.

That’s All There Is to It!

At this point, you might find yourself asking, “Is that really all there is to it?” 

The answer is a resounding YES - and what a testament to just how amazing this field truly is! In just a few short hours, patients can receive the transformative care they need without having to undergo major surgery.

But here's the exciting part - each of the minimally invasive procedures we offer boasts remarkable success rates. So, you can experience a genuine "quick fix" to your healthcare concern and get back to enjoying the things you love in no time. 

If you or a loved one could benefit from our services, please don't hesitate to give us a call and schedule your consultation! At Vascular and Interventional Partners, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

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