Interventional Radiology Society of Australasia (IRSA)

IRSA (Interventional Radiology Society of Australasia) is an association of Interventional radiologists from Australia and New Zealand, supported by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Interventional radiology is a clinical subspecialty of radiology. Interventional radiologists apply minimally invasive therapies using imaging guidance such as X-ray, ultrasound and CT scans in the treatment of diseases in the body. Interventional radiologists can treat many conditions that once required surgery non-surgically.

Interventional radiology was once described as ‘angiography’ or in some hospitals, ‘special procedures.’ In 1964, Charles Dotter opened a new era of percutaneous angioplastyby passing a rigid plastic dilator over a wire to successfully dilate an arterial narrowing, marking the formation of interventional radiology.

Today, there is hardly any area of hospital medicine where interventional radiology has not had some impact and the range of conditions which can be treated is enormous and expanding, including treatments to shrink or destroy tumours, procedures which aid the removal of kidney or gall stones and procedures which block or unblock blood vessels.

As many interventional radiology procedures start with passing a needle through the skin to the target it is sometimes called pinhole surgery. Interventional radiology is generally associated with low complication rates, and the recovery period is usually shorter than when open surgery is performed.

There are significant advantages for patients of minimally invasive interventional radiology techniques, including reduced risks, shorter hospital stays, lower costs, greater comfort and quicker recovery.