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Interventional / cardiac radiography


What is Interventional radiography?

Interventional radiological procedures are performed in the Main x-ray department at the Royal Derby Hospital where there are two rooms available. Cardiac imaging and intervention is undertaken in a dedicated suite within the Royal Derby Hospital.

Interventional radiology is the performance of (usually minimally invasive) medical procedures with the guidance of imaging technologies.  The procedures use x-rays to obtain ‘live’ pictures of the body.  Many different procedures can be performed -  the most common procedure is an ‘angiogram’ or ‘angioplasty’.  This is a special examination of blood vessels.  Injecting the special dye called ‘contrast medium’ into an artery through  a fine plastic tube called a ‘catheter’, allows us to take detailed  x-ray images of arteries and veins.  A radiologist will use specially designed tubes and wires to access your vessels.  If a narrowing is found, this may be stretched via use of a special ‘balloon’. This is called ‘angioplasty’. Sometimes it is not possible to keep the narrowing open by just stretching the vessel with a ‘balloon’, so a metal cage called a 'stent' may be inserted.   Staff working in this room will include x-ray nurses,  highly trained radiologists and specialist radiographers.


Preparation for these  examinations are provided in the patient information leaflets.  Before you come into hospital, we will check whether you may suffer from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or are on any blood thinning medications.  You will be seen by someone who will check all of these. You may need some blood tests before you come for your procedure.  You will be given every opportunity to ask questions about the examination.

How long will the examination take?

Interventional or diagnostic procedures  can be performed on many different parts of the body.  The length of time of the examination or treatment is therefore, variable and can be anything from 30 minutes up to 4 hours.  You will be informed of the likely length of your examination before you attend.  During the examination we will monitor your pulse, blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your blood.  Occasionally we may give you a sedative to help make the procedure more comfortable for you.

Finding us

Most patients are admitted  to a ward  for interventional procedures and  the procedure is then undertaken in the Main x-ray department or Cardiac Suite of  the Royal Derby Hospital.

If you are coming  for  an out-patient assessment with one of the consultant radiologists,   the Main x-ray department  is on level 1 and is signposted from the main hospital entrance.   Please report to Reception 3.  The nearest car parks are 1 and 8 at the front of the hospital.

Opening hours

 Monday  – Friday  08.45 – 17.00  hours.  We also provide an emergency on-call service.

Who can refer for an  interventional procedure?

We accept referrals from consultants and other medical staff, GPs and approved non-medical referrers eg specialist nurses , but this is dependent on the  procedure requested.

 When do I get my results?

You will usually be provided with a verbal interpretation of the images made, but you will also receive an official review with your referring clinician via a follow-up appointment.