The management of vascular diseases, covering a spectrum of conditions that impact blood vessels, used to be elaborate and complicated as it required major surgeries that confined patients in the ICU at least for five days, apart from the substantial post surgery healing period. The evolution in interventional radiology has resulted in a transformative shift in treatment as patients now experience minimally invasive procedures which require a minute puncture less than 1mm, resulting in enhanced outcomes and quicker recovery times. Interventional radiologists are integral in diagnosing and guiding interventions for diverse vascular conditions.

Interventional radiology, equipped with advanced imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), computed tomography angiography (CTA) and ultrasound have revolutionised the precision of vascular disease diagnoses. These technologies provide detailed and non-invasive insights into the vascular system, allowing healthcare rofessionals to pinpoint the location, severity and nature of vascular abnormalities.

“Advancements in interventional radiology have contributed to reducing procedure complications and hospital stays, leading to significant improvement in outcomes,” said Dr Rohit PV Nair, consultant-interventional radiologist and embolisation specialist at Aster Medcity, Kochi.

Treatments for vascular diseases include unblocking blood vessels to inserting a stent-graft to prevent vessel rupture. Interventional radiologists collaborate closely with endocrinologists, podiatrists and vascular surgeons for procedures like angioplasty stent placement to treat peripheral vascular diseases (PAD), commonly found in individuals with diabetes, smokers and those with high cholesterol. Collaboration also extends to cardiothoracic vascular surgeons for addressing artery bulges or aneurysms.

Interventional radiology has refined techniques for treating deep vein thrombosis, caused by vein clots, offering a more effective alternative to year-long medication. The disease is found in people who often go on long journeys, women, obese etc. The patients have difficulty in wearing pants because of the unusual swelling in one of the legs. “We suck all the clots from the veins and put a temporary filter to prevent the clot from going into the lungs,” said Nair.

When it comes to clots, health experts are concerned about 20-25% increase in blood clotting incidents after Covid-19 pandemic. “The pathogenesis of the Covid-19 virus has some effect on blood clotting. We are seeing more patients with heart attack, blocks in blood vessels to the bowels, legs etc,” added Nair.


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