Generally, we call interventionism the medical procedure or set of procedures carried out for diagnostic or therapeutic services through the percutaneous insertion of guides, catheters or any device that may be necessary for the execution of the technique in question.
The intervention technique may be carried out through introduction of percutaneous devices into the interior of the patient’s arterial system, venous system or non-vascular conducts. For this reason, vascular and non-vascular interventionism is often mentioned.
In many countries such as Spain, the interventionist doctor comes to be sub-specialised as interventionist through a practical training on the techniques based on other specialities.
Depending on the anatomical area where the interventionist doctor acts, we find different denominations for interventionism.
Thus, interventionism on coronary arteries is called haemodynamics, and the doctor a haemodynamist. Generally, haemodynamic sections comprise an integrated but separate part of the cardiology department.
Interventionism on carotid and intracranial arteries, as well as many intracranial veins and spinal arteries, is called neuroradiology. In general, neuroradiology units are integrated into radiology departments. Currently, however, some neurosurgeons and some neurologists are being trained in the techniques inherent in neuroradiology, although in Europe their number is still very low compared to radiologists.
Lastly, so-called “peripheral interventionism”, or in other words, neither cerebral or cardiac, is divided as we previously explained into vascular and non-vascular.
- In vascular interventionism, we speak of vascular radiology, since radiologists were the pioneers of these techniques. Today however, the vascular surgery department has absorbed this activity almost completely. Save for exceptionally, radiologists only carry out vascular interventionism on the venous system.
With regard to non-vascular interventionism, radiologists were also the specialists that initiated this field, and still today they continue being the managers of these techniques in most hospitals.
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