Vascular Surgery vs. Interventional Radiology: Which is Right for You?

Vascular Surgery

Understanding Vascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology

If you’re considering treatment for a vascular problem, your healthcare provider may recommend either vascular surgery or interventional radiology, two treatment options that can be used to diagnose and treat diseases of the blood vessels. But, how do you know which treatment is right for you? To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a closer look at these two treatments.

What is Vascular Surgery?

Vascular surgery is a field of medicine that uses surgical intervention to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases that affect the veins and arteries. Vascular surgeons specialize in diseases such as aneurysms, arterial blockages, and venous insufficiency that affect these vessels. Vascular surgeons can perform open surgery, endovascular surgery (see below) and undertake a range of tests to diagnose and assess vascular conditions.

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What is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional radiology, also known as endovascular surgery, is a minimally invasive way of diagnosing and treating vascular diseases. It uses imaging technology, such as X-ray, to guide a thin catheter (tube) into a blood vessel to deliver a treatment or diagnose a problem. Finally, through the catheter, interventional radiologists can deliver treatments such as stents, clot-busting drugs, atherectomy, embolization, and quality-of-life procedures like venous ablation and leg bypass surgery.

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The type of treatment you receive will depend on your individual health needs and will be determined by your healthcare specialist. Generally, surgical intervention is the recommended treatment for aneurysms, arterial blockages, and venous insufficiency. Endovascular surgery, on the other hand, is often used to treat smaller aneurysms and blockages, as well as to diagnose and relieve symptoms that don’t require major surgery.

With any medical procedure, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision. Your healthcare provider can help you decide which procedure is right for you, so it’s important to discuss these options with them.

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Overall Health Benefits

The right treatment option can have a profound effect on your overall health. Vascular surgery and interventional radiology offer important health benefits, including preventing organ damage and stroke, improving the quality of life, improving mobility, and reducing the risks of further health complications.

Both treatments offer advantages, but choosing the right one is critical to make sure that you get the best outcome. Speak to your specialist and ask them to explain all of the benefits, risks, and potential side effects of the treatment options to help you decide which is the best for you and your health.