Image Guided Therapy (IGT) uses two main methods of looking (“imaging”) inside the body during a procedure; ultrasound and fluoroscopy. These images are essential in guiding and completing the case successfully.
Ultrasound uses sound waves (acoustic radiation) to image structures near to the body surface. It is utilized as the primary imaging tool in IGT, and is often all that is required. Fluoroscopy uses X-rays (ionizing radiation) to create detailed, real-time images that allow doctors to visualize organs, vessels and structures, and to guide small instruments within moving anatomy. On occasion, images from other forms of diagnostic imaging (magnetic resonance (MR), computed tomography (CT)) are used to assist in the procedure.
The decision as to which images, and form of imaging, are needed to successfully complete the procedure is made by the doctors within the interventional suite. All staff physicians in IGT are Paediatric Interventional Radiology Specialists, and work alongside experienced, licensed medical radiation technologists and nurses. The extent of imaging is carefully tailored to the age and size of each child, and to the purpose of the procedure.
Risks of Imaging
- Ultrasound: There are no known medical risks with the use of diagnostic ultrasound in the interventional suite.
- Fluoroscopy: As ionizing radiation is used, very small risks are potentially present and considerable care is taken to ensure that a low and appropriate amount is used. These risks are evaluated by the paediatric physician as part of the benefit-risk ratio of performing the procedure. Most procedures in IGT use very low doses of ionizing radiation and the benefits far outweigh any theoretical risk that may be present. If the medical procedure is very complex and a substantial amount of radiation is required, the patient and caregivers will be informed prior to discharge. In the unlikely event that this occurs, a qualified medical physicist shall review all available information and evaluate the radiation dose aspect of the case.
- Image Gently
- Society of Interventional Radiology
- The Society for Pediatric Radiology
- The Society for Interventional Radiology
- American College of Radiology / Radiology Society of North America patient information resource
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