For many, it's hard to visualize exactly what vascular and interventional radiology (VIR) is. The short answer? A subspecialty of medical imaging in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance, leaves quite a lot to the imagination.

In reality, VIR covers a wide range of procedures including PICC line insertions, angioplasty, and image guided biopsies—just to name a few. The area brings together an interdisciplinary team of technologists, radiologists, and nurses and is set to take the stage as one of the key players, not only in medical imaging, but in medicine as a whole.

The question for this piece however, isn't what is VIR? Rather, it's where is VIR going?

Biopsy image"Opposed to surgery, which hasn't changed much over the past 100 years, minimally invasive procedures performed in interventional radiology are the way of the future," says Dr. K.T. Tan, Acting Division Head of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, JDMI. "One day, these procedures will replace many current open surgery techniques."

The TGH VIR and Biopsy Centre (BC) team is preparing to embark on an initiative that will ultimately help shape the future of the profession and set a new standard in patient care. Appropriately titled the UP project (Unleashing the Potential), the initiative will deepen understanding around the complex patient care provided in the area, engage staff in new ways of thinking, and paint a picture of the potential for the future.

"The work of the VIR and BC team is both saving and optimizing patients' lives every day," says Carol Dunham, Interim Manager, TGH VIR. "As we look to the future, our teams will continue to be involved in new and innovative minimally invasive techniques that positively impact our patient's quality of life."

Over the coming months, the entire TGH VIR and BC team will participate in one-on-one interviews and group conversations with staff and stakeholders to scan for potential growth areas and foster understanding around the nature of the team's work. In the New Year, a summit will be held to explore possibilities and key themes identified during these conversations and make action plans for the future.

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