Originally Posted by casebro
I've been in on a few of those as an X-ray student. It's one of several distinct areas of medical radiography that any radiography student must get some experience with before graduating (the others being plain old flat images, plain old flat images from portable equipment including in surgery, fluorscopy, and CT). They call it "interventional" radiography/radiology, commonly "IR". It's actually considered separate from surgery around here because not only are the patients not unconscious but also there's no cutting beyond the skin and a blood vessel, so its impact on the patient's body is hardly more than that of phlebotomy. At least in the hospitals I've worked/studied at, it's handled in the radiology department, not the surgery department. That separation is actually something they chose to deliberately emphasize when they named it "IR", because they're intervening in cases where real surgery would otherwise
be needed; it's a way of intervening to avoid
It's so routine in my experience that I think there must be an IR suite in every hospital in each of at least the top few dozen countries you'd think of if you were trying to list the world's "rich" or "advanced" countries. I'd even be surprised if this is really the first IR in Ghana, since I'd be hard pressed to name a country I think is so undeveloped that there isn't even one
proper hospital in its biggest city. Given that there are a variety of different specific IR procedures, I think what it must be the "first" of in Ghana is not IR in general but this particular IR procedure.
What's relevant to Zaira here is that IR is a specific set of kinds of procedures, not a new no-skull-cutting way of doing other kinds. When you stick tiny tools into blood vessels, you're limited to doing stuff you can reach with tiny tools in blood vessels. For problems outside of blood vessels, you need some other method that does stuff outside of blood vessels.