Intervention radiology (IR)

What is Interventional Radiology?

Interventional Radiology (IR) is a specialist theatre within radiology. We use a combination of imaging techniques to diagnose and treat a vast range of different diseases and conditions. We may use x-rays, ultrasound, CT or a combination of these to perform your procedure.

IR involves ‘keyhole’ techniques to perform your procedure. This allows for faster recovery and most patients will be able to go home the same day. Most procedures are carried out using local anaesthetic and you will be awake – a small portion of procedures may be carried out under sedation or general anaesthetic. This will be discussed with you at our pre-assessment clinic.

The Countess of Chester Hospital is the regional vascular centre. It is the hub for the South Mersey Arterial (SMART) Network in our area, offering specialised imaging and treatment in this field. IR is an integral part of this team. You may be referred to us from other hospitals in the region for specialist vascular treatment.

We cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a consultant led service for emergency procedures throughout the region.

We have a wide ranging multi-disciplinary team – including radiologists, enhanced practice radiographers, radiographers, nurses, radiology support workers, admin and other specialist staff members – who all work together to provide you with an excellent service. We also work closely with anaesthetists and surgeons from all specialities, to provide a service which includes some of special procedures like angioplasty, vascular stents, gastrointestinal stents, EVARS and PICC insertions.

The IR department is currently undergoing major extension work (January 2024) to allow us to provide an even more improved service to our patients. This work will include an additional theatre space and dedicated recovery area.

Referral to IR

We accept referrals from consultants within the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and SMART Network. We cannot accept referrals via GPs or other community-based services.


Most of our procedures require pre-operative appointments with our specialist pre-assessment team.

When attending a pre-assessment appointment please ensure you bring along a list of your current medications (both prescribed and non-prescribed) to allow our team to provide you with the correct information to ensure you are fully prepared for your procedure.

At this appointment, you will get to tell our team everything you want to about your current health and the conditions your being treated for. We’ll explain the risks and benefits of the procedure that you’re planning to have and provide you with any appropriate information. You will then be asked to sign a consent form for your procedure.

You may also require blood tests and swabs to be taken to ensure you are fully prepared for your procedure. The staff will explain everything when you attend. Please feel free to bring along a family member or friend to the appointment if you would like.

Attending your procedure

Please ensure you follow all the instructions provided at your pre-assessment appointment relating to medications and fasting. Failure to do so may result in your procedure being cancelled.

Please bring an overnight bag with your medications and anything else you may require. Although we try to see most patients as day-case appointments, sometimes you may have to stay overnight for further monitoring or treatment. Please note family and friends will not be able to stay with you on the day of your procedure.

Further information

For further information, you can visit the BSIR website. 

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