The interventionalism of medicine: interventional radiology,
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Interventional medical practitioners are specialists who do minimally invasive procedures instead of surgery or other treatment. Most often, these procedures utilize various imaging and catheterization techniques in order to diagnose and treat vascular issues in the body. Interventionalist techniques, including injecting arteries with dye, visualizing these via x-ray, and opening up blockages, developed from early pioneers' bold and sometimes controversial experiments which aimed to find safer and better ways to treat coronary artery and other atherosclerotic vascular disease.

Currently, the major interventional specialties are interventional (or vascular) radiology, interventional cardiology, and endovascular surgical (interventional) neuroradiology. All three are perfecting the use of stents and other procedures to keep diseased arteries open, while also evaluating the application of these procedures.

Interventional radiologists (IR) are board-certified radiologists who specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. More specifically, they use available imaging systems, from x-rays to MRIs, in order to advance a catheter in the body, usually in an artery, to treat the source of disease non-surgically.

According to The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, "Interventional cardiology is the specialized branch of cardiology that treats coronary artery disease with balloon angioplasty and stenting, therapies that unblock clogged arteries that supply blood to the heart, stop heart attacks and relieve angina, or chest pain. Interventional cardiologists (IC) are also trained to do procedures on cardiac valves and other structures.

The future for interventional therapists continues to evolve. These doctors are continuously improving upon minimally invasive procedures to treat common medical conditions. Even with improved medical therapy for atherosclerotic vascular disease, which may negate the need for some interventional procedures, the population is aging and there will be enormous numbers of patients needing care for coronary artery disease and carotid atherosclerosis, along with other less common conditions.