Interventional Radiology


The National Clinical Programme (NCP) for Interventional Radiology started in October 2023. The NCP aims to provide a framework for the delivery of high-quality, timely, accessible and equitable Interventional Radiology (IR) care for all patients and support improvements in how IR services are organised across the country.  

The priorities of the NCP for Interventional Radiology are:   

  • to identify and address deficits and variation in the delivery of scheduled (planned) and 24/7 emergency (unplanned) Interventional Radiology in each health area in Ireland
  • to develop a clinically driven Model of Care for Interventional Radiology


A multidisciplinary Working Group has been set up to help the Programme achieve its objectives. This group includes Consultant Interventional Radiologists, Radiographers and Nurses as well as representatives from related clinical disciplines including Surgery, Trauma, Anaesthesia, Obstetrics to name a few. 

Please visit for more information on the NCP for Interventional Radiology.


Interventional radiologists are specially trained doctors who use image guidance to perform surgical type procedures on patients with various diseases. Interventional radiologists can repair blood vessels, open narrow blood vessels, block bleeding blood vessels, dissolve or remove blood vessel clots and block blood supply to certain tumours. This is all done through a tiny hole in the groin or wrist. The range of diseases amenable to IR are constantly growing, and include diseases of the blood vessels, gut, brain, liver and kidneys.

Interventional Radiologists work with other specialist doctors to deliver elective (planned) and emergency (unplanned) care in Ireland for adults and children.

Examples of elective (planned) IR procedures include:

  • treating women with fibroids by blocking the blood vessels supplying the fibroid
  • allowing delivery of cancer chemotherapy or kidney dialysis by placing tubes in large chest veins
  • taking samples of tissue (biopsies) from the liver, kidney, chest and bones to find out what might be causing diseases
  • providing local cancer treatments of selected liver, kidney and lung cancers by inserting special needles into the tumours and delivering heat treatments to kill the tumour

Examples of emergency IR procedures include:

  • blocking arteries that are bleeding (embolization) for patients with bleeding from the gut, bleeding due to car accidents or other trauma, and a certain type of bleeding after childbirth
  • treating patients with acute infection in the kidneys, lungs or liver by draining abscesses or infected fluid collections in the body

A subtype of Interventional Radiologists (Neurointerventional Radiologists) perform procedures in the brain. Examples include:

  • treating brain aneurysms (a bulge on the wall of the blood vessels in the brain) that can cause bleeding into the brain
  • treating selected patients who have an acute stroke by removing the clot causing the stroke from the brain. This is called stroke thrombectomy and can make the stroke disappear in many cases