The James Paget has been increasing the availability of Interventional Radiology (IR) services at our hospital, with a range of diagnostic imaging and surgical procedures now being offered to patients locally.
IR is a growing area, with exciting developments offering alternatives to more conventional treatments. But even in a smaller district general hospital such as the James Paget, an increase in IR procedures means local patients can benefit from faster diagnosis and quicker interventions to treat a range of conditions, closer to home.
IR is sometimes referred to as ‘image guided surgery’ as imaging technology, such as X-ray, CT or ultrasound scans, are used to take internal images of patients to guide medical professionals as they perform minimally invasive procedures. IR provides a way to diagnose injury and disease and treat some conditions without the need for major surgery.
The ability to be able to carry out these procedures closer to home for patients living on the east coast and in-house for inpatients at our hospital, has been accelerated by the recruitment of Consultant Radiologist Dr Vinod Shenoy, who joined the James Paget in March 2021, having worked previously at the West Suffolk Hospital for 14 years, and the establishment of an Interventional Radiology Suite, which now operates every weekday.
The service was previously just half/one day a week - now it operates Monday to Friday, 9am -5pm, carrying out procedures that patients may previously have had to travel to Norwich for. This includes performing biopsies for a range of diseases which expedites diagnosis and treatment, and non-vascular interventions including urology procedures such as unblocking kidneys (nephrostomy), draining fluid from abscesses, and inserting feeding tubes into the stomach (RIG).
Here at the James Paget imaging including fluoroscopy – effectively an X-ray movie – is used to guide procedures, enhancing both the range of services and availability for local patients.
Dr Shenoy says; “Our main aim is to help patients by improving the quality of care we can provide in our hospital, to improve diagnosis, and to get them home faster.
“Our services may be required by every department across the hospital. The aim of the IR team is to support our colleagues by improving the throughput of patients by providing a range of diagnostic tests and procedures, effectively and efficiently, often seeing inpatients within 24 hours.”
It is hoped that Interventional Radiology can be an area that continues to develop and grow at the James Paget, with ongoing future benefits for our patients.