There is a lot to be said about the confusion between the difference between an Interventional
Radiologist (IR) and a Vascular Surgeon.
First, we need to understand what each speciality does:
Interventional Radiologists are vascular specialists who do minimally invasive procedures instead of
surgery or other treatment, using image-guided diagnosis and treatment of diseases in every organ
system. The main focus behind interventional radiology is providing a solution using the most modern,
least invasive technique available in order to minimise risk and improve the outcomes for every patient
with shorter hospital stays and comprehensive follow up care.
“Historically, Interventional Radiologists have been doing catheter-based interventional procedures
literally since 1963, when the first angioplasties were done,” says Timothy Murphy, MD. We have
since experienced many industry advancements in particular those improving overall patient outcomes
by adopting interventional radiology procedures.
Vascular Surgeons specialise in diseases affecting all parts of the vascular system, except those of the
heart and brain. The speciality is based on operative arterial and venous surgery as well as minimally
invasive alternatives to surgery.
Interventional Radiology continues to evolve in Sydney and we are continuously improving upon
minimally invasive procedures to treat common medical conditions. We already diagnose and treat
cancer, offering patients the opportunity to access minimally invasive treatments that will minimise
their pain, alleviate fear and improve recovery time.
Other common procedures include:
• Angiogram, angioplasty and stenting for peripheral vascular disease
• Renal, mesenteric and splenic aneurysm embolization
• Renal artery angioplasty/stenting and dialysis intervention for renovascular disease
• Testicular variococele and ovarian vein embolization
• DVT treatment
• Facet, peineural, epidural blocks and vertebroplasty for spinal treatments
• Musculoskeletal treatments
In the future we may even see Interventional Radiology used for gene therapy and stem cell treatment.
Although both Interventional Radiologists and Vascular Surgeons share a common outcome, it is
important to recognise that not all Interventional Radiologists or Vascular Surgeons obtain the same
skills. The common outcome will remain the same to offer vital emergency and elective care,
successful results in patient outcomes, reducing the length of hospital stay and offering greater patient
choice. However it’s recommended to seek a doctor who specialises exclusively in vascular treatments,
understands the complexity of the venous system and is trained and experienced in the cutting-edge
Dr Albert Goh is a highly qualified vascular specialist with an in-depth knowledge of the least invasive
To find out more about Sydney Medical Interventions, contact us on 02 8837 9141