Interventional Radiology FAQs

How can I prepare?

For most of the procedures performed by IR, you will be not be allowed to eat for several hours before your procedure. The day before your procedure, you may be contacted by a nurse or staff member from the Interventional Radiology department who will talk to you about your procedure, tell you when you need to arrive, give you directions to the reception area or nursing floor, and review specific instructions needed for your procedure.

What happens before the procedure?

You will be taken to the patient preparation area. You will be asked to change into a gown and will then be checked by a nurse. At this time, a nurse may place an IV line in your arm so you can be given sedation and fluids (if your procedure needs this).

How long will the procedure take?

Many factors determine the time of the procedure including the complexity of the case as well as age and weight of the patient. Generally, simple cases, such as biopsies, can take around 15 to 30 minutes. More complex cases can take 1 to 4 hours.

Recovery time can last from one hour for procedures requiring sedation to six hours following arteriograms (procedures used to visualize arteries).

How painful is the procedure?

Interventional Radiology is significantly less painful than surgery. In addition, if a pain occurs, it is controlled with the use of conscious sedation (medication given to a patient who remains awake).

Should I take my daily medications?

If you are currently taking blood-thinners or anti-coagulants:

It is generally advisable not to take any anti-coagulants or blood-thinner medications. Stop taking all blood thinners or anti-coagulants 5 days prior to your procedure. Please consult your Doctor to ensure this is appropriate for you.

Please notify our Interventional Radiologist before you start the procedure that you are taking such medications to manage your anticoagulation status.

If you are diabetic:

Do not take morning insulin the day of the procedure.

Do not take oral hypoglycemic medication (diabetes pill) the day of the procedure. Do not take GLUCOPHAGE the day of the procedure. If the procedure includes IV contrast, then do not take Glucophage for 48 hours after the procedure. If you feel that you need an alternative diabetes medication during these days, contact your physician who normally orders your diabetes medication.

*Morning oral medications should be taken with a small amount of water. (except hypoglycemic, Glucophage, blood- thinner and anti-coagulant medications).


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