There are four main types of radiology: diagnostic, interventional, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. The diagnostic radiological procedure includes common preventative medicine practices like MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, X-rays and angiography. Doctors check the various systems of the body to determine if anything is wrong. This is the best health prevention method, aside from the standard healthy diet and exercise.
The interventional radiological method is an alternative to surgery that includes biopsies, cancer treatments, angioplasty, embolization, vertebroplasty, nerve blocks and varicose vein treatments. Nuclear medicine is a way of assessing damage done to the heart, lungs, thyroid, liver, gallbladder and bones.
The physiological damage and progression of tumors can be monitored using this method. Lastly, radiation therapy is used to treat brain tumors and cancers, such as breast, colorectal, head, neck, lung and prostate.
Radiological methods can be used within three hours of a person’s stroke symptoms. Strokes are typically caused by blood clots to the brain, so the standard procedure dissolves blood clots through an intravenously injected tissue plasminogen activator. If it has been more than three hours, but less than six, then an intra-arterial thrombolysis treatment may be performed, which places the clot-busting drug right at the site and will mechanically break up the clot.
With this amazing minimally invasive procedure, most stroke patients can regain full functionality and return to every day life. Health experts say the main challenge with stroke radiology is having enough stroke teams ready to handle patients within the three-hour timeframe.
One of the most common uses of radiology is for angioplasty, or the opening of clogged arteries, which benefits patients who are at risk for heart attacks or strokes. In this procedure, inflated balloons are passed through catheters to the trouble spots to increase blood flow to the brain, kidneys and legs.
Often, chemicals are placed in clogged locations to dissolve the plaque or the clots, which are then mechanically broken up. Another related radiological technique is stent grafting, where a synthetic tube is placed in large blood vessels to prevent an aneurysm or fatal bleeding.
Those concerned with senior health favor the non-invasive methods especially. Many people are in and out during the same day and continue to live productive lives afterward.
The use of radiology for health prevention and testing is one of the biggest lifesavers, health experts say. Ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and mammograms have the ability to help patients who would have otherwise died to live an extra 20+ years.
As for interventional radiological procedures, the benefits are numerous. It requires less anesthesia, less trauma to the body, shortens the hospital stay and recovery period, as well as causing minimal discomfort.