Q: Will I have to stay overnight after my procedure?
A: Many procedures can be performed as day case procedures and you can be discharged on the same day if there are no complications. You may be required to have someone escort you home and stay with you overnight. Some procedures require an overnight stay and your doctor should tell you this when you are referred for a procedure.
Q: Will I be put to sleep for my procedure?
A: Due to the minimally invasive techniques used in IR most procedures are performed under local anaesthetic and it’s not necessary to put you to sleep. For long or complex procedures, mild sedation can be used. Only highly complex procedures require a general anaesthetic. Your doctor should tell you whether this will be required when you are referred for a procedure.
Q: How long will my procedure take?
A: Simple procedures can take as little at 15 minutes, but most Interventional Radiology procedures take about an hour, although this is dependant on particular circumstances and the anatomy of the individual patient. Only complex procedures take longer than this and you should be informed of this by your doctor when you are referred for a procedure.
Q: I understand Interventional Procedures use x-rays, are the x-rays harmful to me?
A: X-rays can be harmful but the doses used in interventional procedures are kept as low as possible. It is necessary to use x-rays to perform most procedures safely. The doctor will only use x-rays when absolutely necessary and use the lowest possible amount to minimise your exposure to radiation.
Q: Do I have to be "nil by mouth" for my procedure?
A: For procedures that may require sedation you will be asked not to eat, this includes cups of tea/coffee as well as any food. You may sip up to 100mls of water an hour pre-procedure.
Note: For RIG insertions you will be asked not to drink water or eat pre-procedure as your stomach has to be completely empty.
Q: How soon can I go back to work after a procedure?
A: As IR procedures are minimally invasive, most patients can return to work after just a few days. More complex procedures, may require you to be off work for longer. You should be informed of this by the doctor who refers you for the procedure or during the booking process.
Q: When can I start to drive after my procedure?
A: We strongly advise that you get a lift home after your procedure and don't drive on the same day. If you feel ready you can drive the next day for most procedures. Your doctor will inform you if for any reason this isn't the case.