Radiology is a branch of medicine, that helps doctors see inside our body and diagnose diseases by using devices such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). During the 4-5 years of radiology training, radiologist learn the physical principles and use of these devices, imaging findings in normal versus sick patients and the methods to diagnose specific diseases based on these imaging findings.
Interventional radiology is a division of radiology. Interventional radiologists first complete their 4-5 years radiology residency and become a radiologist, and then, they receive an additional at least 2 years training of interventional radiology. During this training, they learn how to perform image guided biopsies and minimally invasive nonsurgical therapies in various diseases. These therapies are generally done either percutaneously (by inserting a needle into an organ or tissue) or endovascularly (through the arter or vein, via angiography), under local anesthesia and using ultrasound, CT or angiography guidance. The most commonly performed interventional radiologic procedures include reopening of the occluded vessels of the organs except for the heart, endovascular treatment of aneurysms (ballooning of vessels), dissolving of thrombus by direct infusion of drugs into the clot (thrombolysis), nonsurgical treatment of varicose veins with laser and foam, and treatment of benign tumors such as fibroadenomas, hemangiomas and uterine fibroids with ablation or embolization.
Interventional oncology is a divison of interventional radiology, which involves interventional radiologic procedures performed in cancer patients. These procedures include image-guided biopsies, percutaneous tumor ablations and transarterial cancer treatments. Interventional oncology is the fastest-growing part of interventional radiology, and is rapidly becoming the fourth main treatment group after chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery in the management of cancer patients.