Interventional Radiology

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Interventional Radiology Visiting Professional Programme (VPP) provides international clinicians the opportunity to experience interventional radiology procedures in one of the largest NHS radiology units in London.

Introduction

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Interventional Radiology Visiting Professional Programme (VPP) is designed to provide international visiting professionals with the opportunity to experience interventional radiology procedures in one of the largest radiology units in London. The programme offers a unique chance to be fully integrated within a radiology service which is at the forefront of clinical activity, training and research.

The programmes are designed by our clinical leads to provide unique development experiences which enable visiting professionals to broaden their clinical expertise and learn new skills that can be transferred back to their work place. We are excited to deliver exclusive access to observe and work alongside our radiology faculty and to provide an opportunity for international professionals to gain insight into our Trust and the role that our staff play within the NHS.


Programme aims

The programme is aimed at those who wish to extend their clinical expertise in interventional radiology within Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.

The aims of the programme include:

A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to visitors upon the end of their programme.


Format

The Interventional Radiology programme is delivered within the hospital work place and it includes exposure to clinics, inpatient ward rounds, post-operative recovery of patients and multidisciplinary team meetings.

Visiting professionals will be aligned with supervisors from within the clinical teams who will facilitate agreed learning and development needs. We would expect visiting professionals to be totally integrated in the day to day service within our international radiology team.


Who can apply

This programme is intended for allied health professionals and senior trainees who specialise in or have a keen interest in interventional radiology.

Visitors have the choice of applying for a hands-on attachment or observership programme.

Those wishing to apply for a hands-on attachment must have GMC registration. You can apply for GMC registration directly through the main GMC website, alternatively The Royal College of Radiologists run a medical training initiative which facilitates GMC registration and provides sponsorship for a Tier 5 visa. You can find out more about their Medical Training Initiative by visiting their website.


Programme duration

It is recommended that in order to get the most out of the Interventional Radiology programme, that visiting professionals undertake an attachment placement of three to 12 months. For observerships we recommend four to eight week placements. However, the programme’s duration can potentially be tailored to the specific learning requirements of those visiting the Trust.


Interventional Radiology service

The radiology department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital is one of the largest in London, with approximately 50 radiologists, 100 radiographers, 50 nursing staff and 30 support staff. Both x-ray departments have outstanding imaging facilities. These include; a busy A&E (including a dedicated emergency CT scanner) and Outpatients departments, together with Ultrasound, CT, MRI, Interventional Suites including a Paediatric Cardiac lab, Breast and Nuclear Medicine. CRIS, PACS, Computerised and Digital Imaging modalities are used throughout the department. 

Interventional Radiology (abbreviated IR) is a medical sub-specialty of radiology which utilises minimally-invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. The concept behind interventional radiology is to diagnose and treat patients using the least invasive techniques currently available in order to minimize risk to the patient and improve health outcomes. 

As the inventors of angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, interventional radiologists pioneered modern minimally-invasive medicine. Using X-rays, CT, ultrasound, MRI, and other imaging modalities, interventional radiologists obtain images which are then used to direct Interventional instruments throughout the body. These procedures are usually performed using needles and narrow tubes called catheters, rather than by making large incisions into the body as in traditional surgery. 

Many conditions that once required surgery can now be treated non-surgically by interventional radiologists. By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, peripheral interventions can reduce infection rates and recovery time, as well as shorten hospital stays. 

Common Interventional Radiology Procedures at GSTT

Prostate Artery Embolization

A cutting edge new treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. We have successfully performed one of the largest series of patients in the UK. 

Uterine Artery Embolization

An embolization procedure of uterine arteries to stop life-threatening postpartum bleeding, potentially preventing hysterectomy. The same procedure is used to treat fibroid tumours and is then called UFE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization). We have one of the largest series of uterine fibroid embolisations in the UK.

Varicocele Embolization

A treatment for “varicose veins” in the scrotum, which can cause male infertility and pain. 

Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM)

Embolisation of high flow vascular malformations is carried out using a range of embolization techniques. We also offer sclerotherapy treatment for low flow venous malformations. 

Ablative therapies

We offer a comprehensive range of ablative procedures for cancer including radio-frequency and microwave ablation as well as cryotherapy.

Peripheral Arterial Interventions

We perform a wide range of complex peripheral arterial interventions including below the knee angioplasty and stenting as well as atherectomy procedures. 

Venous Interventions

A comprehensive range of interventions including catheter directed thrombolysis for acute occlusions, central venous reconstruction for chronic venous occlusions, pelvic vein embolization for pelvic venous insufficiency. 

Vena Cava Filter Insertion / Removal

A tiny cage-like device that is inserted in the inferior venal cava to prevent them from reaching the lungs. 

Biliary Drainage and Stenting

Using a plastic tube and / or a stent to open up blocked ducts and allow bile to drain from the liver. 

Central Venous Access

Included tunnelled dialysis line insertion, Hickman line and Port-a-cath procedures. 

Fistula Procedures

Including fistuloplasty, HERO graft placement, pharmaco-mechanical thrombectomy for thrombosed fistulas. 

Gastrostomy Tube

Feeding tube inserted into the stomach for patients who are unable to take sufficient food by mouth. 

Infection and Abscess Drainage

Patients with a variety of illnesses may develop an area of persistent infection (abscess) in the body. The infection can be drained by inserting a catheter through a small nick in the skin and to the site of the infection. Also used to treat complications of open surgery. 

Needle Biopsy

Diagnostic test for lung, liver and other cancers; an alternative to open surgical biopsy. 

Stent Graft

Reinforces a ruptured or ballooning section of an artery (an aneurysm) with a fabric-wrapped stent C a small, flexible mesh tube used to “patch” the blood vessel. Also known as an endograph. 

Nephrostomy tube and antegrade ureteric stent Insertion

The ureter carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder and sometimes becomes blocked by kidney stones or other obstructions. The interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through a small nick in the skin and into the blocked kidney to drain the urine. Through this access an antegrade ureteric stent can also be placed. 

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

A pain treatment for fractured vertebra in which medical grade bone cement is injected into the vertebra.

Paediatric Interventions

We have an established vascular anomalies treatment service and also perform reno-vascular intervention and bronchial stenting in children.


Example Timetable

Week 1

Monday morning

  • Audit/ Research

Monday afternoon

  • Audit/ Research

Tuesday morning

  • Intervention

Tuesday afternoon

  • Intervention

Wednesday morning

  • Intervention

Wednesday afternoon

  • CTA/MRA

Thursday morning

  • Intervention

Thursday afternoon

  • Intervention

Friday morning

  • Intervention

Friday afternoon

  • Intervention

Fees

A course fee per week will be applied; this fee excludes accommodation and travelling expenses. To find out the fee amount please email [email protected].


Please note

Clinicians are able to offer bursaries or discounted placements on an individual basis. This is at the discretion of the Directorates of GSTT and does not affect the terms and conditions of the Visiting Professional Programme agreements.

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