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Interventional Radiology: Hard On Disease, Easy On Patients

Date:  February 18th, 2013

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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(MINOT, ND)—A whole new class of leading-edge, minimally invasive treatments is now available to
Trinity Health patients. Dr. Kenneth Keller, medical director of radiology and advanced imaging services for Trinity
Health, says a new Interventional Radiology (IR) service was officially launched this past month with the addition of two interventional radiologists and the opening of a new Interventional Radiology Suite at Trinity

“The radiology department has offered some IR procedures for many years, but we didn't have enough radiologists to offer a full service with 24/7 on-call coverage, and we didn't have a room dedicated to interventional radiology that allowed us to do high quality IR procedures. Now we have both of those things,” Dr. Keller said, adding, “This creates a whole new set of treatment options for patients with a wide range of health conditions in Minot and the surrounding areas.”

Trinity's new IR suite features the most advanced technology of its kind using a Digital Subtraction Angiography system that makes it possible to clearly visualize blood vessels in bony or dense soft tissue, similar to a conventional cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Interventional radiology involves the image-guided placement of catheters (long, narrow, flexible tubes) that are threaded through arteries or veins in all parts of the body for the purpose of diagnosing and treating health conditions internally at
their source. “We can do any kind of vascular study and perform all sorts of targeted therapeutic procedures,” said Dr. Sridha (Jake) Naidu, an interventional radiologist, who, along with his colleague, Dr. Jaime Sheperd, and nurse practitioner, Heather Boyko, NP-C,
comprise the IR staff.

The list of health problems that can be studied and addressed by interventional radiology is long indeed and involves nearly every
organ system. It includes treatments for varicose veins, stent placement, biopsies, cancer treatments, dialysis maintenance, drainage procedures, various kinds of injections, and thrombolytic therapy in which the radiologist infuses t-PA or other clot-dissolving medication into a blood clot. “Everything we do is through a catheter that enters the body through a tiny little knick in the skin. It's as minimally invasive as it gets,” Dr. Naidu said.

“Interventional radiology has been called one of medicine's best kept secrets, but once patients learn about it they're sold,” Dr. Sheperd added. “As is generally the case with minimally invasive procedures, there's less risk, less pain and less recovery time.”

Some IR procedures have become the standard of care for various conditions. For example, liver cancer is regularly treated using IR technology in the form of chemoembolization or radioembolization.

“We gain access to the tumor by going directly to the root of whatever artery is feeding it and apply treatment in multiple ways,” Dr. Naidu explains. “We can interrupt the blood supply and shrink the tumor that way, or we can infuse chemotherapy or radiation seeds into the tumor without affecting the organ itself.

“Many conditions that once required surgery can be treated less invasively with IR techniques,” Dr. Keller noted. “We recognized that with the growing number of patients, we needed to establish this service to ensure that people living in our region have access to a wide range of treatments close to home.”

Dr. Sheperd, a former computer systems and data processing analyst, earned his medical degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Methodist Hospital of Indianapolis. He practiced at hospitals in Indiana and Washington, utilizing his computer expertise to facilitate the digital revolution in healthcare. Prior to joining Trinity he was a member of Virtual Radiologic Corporation, a network of radiologists that employs specialists from across the country via a digitally
based imaging system. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. Naidu is a board-certified radiologist and is fellowship trained in interventional radiology. A graduate of Michigan State University, he received his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, and fulfilled his
residency in diagnostic radiology at John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth. Following residency he completed a fellowship in interventional radiology at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He is a member of the Society of Interventional Radiology and the American College of Radiology.

Heather Boyko, NP-C, a certified nurse practitioner, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Minot State University and received her master's degree from the Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University Mary in Bismarck. She has over 15 years of nursing experience in the areas of medical/oncology and intensive care. She is a member of the American
Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Association. SPACE index.php