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February 3, 2023 10:45 pm

Expansion of PGI Interventional Radiology Services to reduce patient waiting time at PGI

Chandigarh, December 2

Interventional Radiology (IR) is a highly evolved sub-specialty of Radiology in which minimally invasive image-guided procedures are done to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system. It minimizes the risk to the patient and improves health outcomes. Dr MS Sandhu, Professor and Head, Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGIMER, Chandigarh said the utility of Interventional Radiology procedures is that they can access the deeper structures of the body through a tiny incision using small needles, catheters and wires. Thisgreatly hastens the recovery of patients compared to open surgical procedures.

In the interest of patient care and ongoing development at the Institute, the Interventional Radiology section has recently further expanded its services. New rooms have been added for the Interventional Radiology Clinic (IR Clinic) on Ground Floor at Nehru Hospital for doing image-guided biopsies and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). In the IR Clinic the patients requiring these image-guided procedures are assessed and scheduled. Also, patients in whom the IR procedures have been done are regularly followed up for determining their outcome. Around 50 to 60 extra FNACs are now being done in this new Intervention area each week, which is a huge benefit for the waiting patients. This has contributed immensely to reducing the waiting period for these important procedures. While Inpatients and Emergency cases are done on the same or the next day, Outpatients have their scheduling done within a week to ten days, said Prof MS Sandhu. Earlier the waiting period for these patients was around 4 to 5 weeks.

Although IR is still evolving as a field in the country, PGI can claim to be one of the pioneer centres in India for doing such advanced IR work. The PGI Radiology Department was the first to start training of fellows in IR. Over a period, the IR Fellowship got transformed into the DM Interventional Radiology programme. PGI is one of the very few elite hospitals in India offering this highly advanced DM program stated Prof. Mandeep Kang, senior I.R. Radiologist at PGI. The section was the first in the country to perform irreversible electroporation and cryoablation for tumorous lesions said Prof Naveen Kalra who has a special interest in performing these very advanced and highly specialized procedures. These are various kinds of ablative techniques which are used to destroy the small tumours in different organ systems without causing any damage to the surrounding critical structures like blood vessels and nerves.

The Interventional Radiology section is also very active in the research field. Currently, many extramural and intramural research projects related to Interventional Radiology treatment are going on in the department. DrNaveen Kalra is conducting a SERB funded randomised control trial on the treatment of unresectable gallbladder cancers in which the role of irreversible electroporation with chemotherapy vis-à-vis chemotherapy alone is being evaluated. Dr Harish Bhujade, Assistant Professor, is conducting a research project funded by DHR,Government of India in which the role of contrast-enhanced ultrasound is being evaluated after ablation therapy of liver cancers stated Prof. Sandhu.

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