Anchor: Welcome back to We Are Austin. Thanks for being with us today. Comprehensive care means getting the full picture, from therapeutic treatments to preventing major surgery, which sounds good to everybody. Dr. Michael Jaimes from ARA Diagnostic Imaging is here to tell us how Interventional Radiology, is what it’s called, can really help improve your health. Good morning to you. Thanks for being here.
Dr: Good morning. Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure.
Anchor: Well, we’ve chatted a little bit about this. I’m fascinated by Interventional Radiology.
Anchor: Cause this is some cutting edge stuff.
Dr: Sure, so Interventional Radiology is my subspecialty. I absolutely love it. As an Interventional Radiologist, or IRs for short. We’ve trained for a long time, many years after college and medical school, in residency, in fellowship, before we can even begin practice.
Dr: But what I love about Interventional Radiology is we’re always on the leading edge of modern medicine. We’re cutting edge.
Anchor: Yeah, and it really is important too. And this is really kind of a good example why. It’s some very important places in your body up here.
Dr: Sure, so a very busy slide but at the end of the day, ignore the small text. What it’s trying to depict here is that we are involved in almost all the major organ systems. You can see we’re in the lungs, we treat the liver, we treat the gastrointestinal tract. And we do this all through very small, tiny holes, small incisions, that are barely visible to the eye.
Anchor: Mm hm.
Dr: We’ll insert very small catheters or tubes or small needles directly into the organ we’re treating. Like, for example, if we’re treating the liver, we’d put a very small needle and then we can deliver a large amount of therapy directly to that organ.
Dr: And bypass all the other organs. This is called minimally invasive therapies.
Dr: We again are able to deliver that medicine in a way that will decrease the side effects, the toxicities, maybe even prevent open surgeries.
Anchor: Wow. That’s important. You’re kind of really targeting…
Dr: Right. Right.
Anchor: …for instance, the liver to deliver that treatment without affecting anything else.
Dr: That’s correct. We do it alongside your physician, your OBGYN doctor, your surgeon.
Dr: And we do that together as a team.
Anchor: That is really special. Here we’re looking at something, a really good example of how this works and some of the issues people face.
Dr: Sure, so today as an example of the many things we do, we can talk about chronic leg pain.
Dr: And so, chronic leg pains has different reasons for having pain, but the bottom line is if you can’t deliver oxygen or you have dilated veins then that will cause pain.
Dr: And so, the image here on top shows a nice open artery where, if this was a highway you could just deliver all that oxygen very efficiently. The one on the bottom, however, is blocked off by years of high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes. And you can imagine if you’re a truck trying to get down MoPac and through one of these blocked arteries, then you’re not going to get there very efficiently.
Anchor: Yeah, absolutely.
Dr: And so, this is where Interventional Radiologists come in. You know we can do very inexpensive screening tests to see if it is in fact arteries or veins. Uh, this image depicted here shows an ankle brachial index. And the only thing that’s done here is just putting some blood pressure cuffs on your arms, on your thighs. That gives us a very rough but very accurate measurement of how well that blood is being supplied to the legs.
Anchor: Oh, wow.
Dr: If this is positive, then we can go on to further imaging. And if you show the next screen. So, if that’s positive then we can go in with an ultrasound and now we’re looking directly at the arteries or veins to make sure they’re open like this – nice color blood flow. Or we can do a CT scan, and again, that will help us identify exactly where the problem is. If it’s positive, then you can sit down, and we’ll talk about all of the different minimally invasive therapies that we can offer.
Anchor: Wow, that is so specific, and I think that’s what makes this treatment so special.
Anchor: And you actually have a real-life case where this treatment that’s really helped change somebody’s life.
Dr: Sure. So, can I, can I show you that case?
Dr: So, the bottom line is I have a patient that we did in the clinic. It’s a patient that had a lot of pain, difficulty getting to the mailbox, and after we treated her has now become a world traveler.
Dr: So what you’re seeing here, is you’re seeing a blocked artery there in the middle, it’s very narrow, it can’t get a lot of blood supply. And so, you’re seeing a lot of different little arteries that are going on the side.
Anchor: I see, yeah.
Dr: If you go onto the next video. Okay, so, oh let’s go back to the previous video.
Anchor: Yeah, there we go.
Dr: Okay, so, here’s this blocked artery. You can see that it’s not getting very good blood flow. If we go to the other video.
Anchor: Oh, I see. So, this is where we’re seeing…
Dr: Yeah, there we go. So, now there’s a nice open artery that we’ve opened up. So now, you have all of that oxygen and blood supply and nutrients get down to that leg and take away that pain.
Anchor: That difference is dramatic, truly.
Anchor: You can see how accurate and helpful that is.
Dr: Sure, and again this was all the outpatient treatment. Came in and was up and running by the next day or not necessarily running, but at least moving around.
Dr: And getting better.
Anchor: I like that you’ve said they’ve become a world traveler.
Dr: That’s right.
Anchor: It really has improved their quality of life.
Dr: And so, here’s a picture of varicose veins. Again, we diagnose this with a very simple ultrasound test. Came in to see us, we consulted, small catheters treated, and this is the after picture.
Dr: And you can see this patient is much better and they will have a much better quality of life with minimally invasive therapies.
Anchor: I imagine that just by having seen these examples today, folks at home are probably pretty interested in this.
Anchor: How can we learn more about it?
Dr: So, very simply go to our website. It’s ausrad.com. If you don’t like the websites, you can call our coordinators directly at (512) 467-9729.
Anchor: Excellent. There’s always a friendly voice on the other side of the phone there for you for sure.
Dr: Sure, sure.
Anchor: Well this have been great, Dr. Jaimes. Thank you for sharing this information.
Dr: Thank you for having me, it’s been a pleasure.
Anchor: It was good stuff.
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.