Interventional Radiology (IR) is a unique subspecialty in the medical imaging field because it uses radiology modalities and image guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures and treatments. This can potentially reduce the need for surgery and improve the patient experience.
As Radiology Partners’ National Subspecialty Lead for IR and an interventional radiologist in Miami, Dr. Constantino Peña believes the subspecialty has many benefits. He met with us to discuss why he pursued it more than 20 years ago.
As an interventional radiologist, what type of procedures do you do?
Using medical imaging, we can guide small instruments through pathways in the body to perform interventions and treat disease in a safer, faster and more effective way. For example, interventional radiologists complete a number of varied procedures from biopsies to embolization and aneurysm repairs that help diagnose and alleviate symptoms related to such common conditions such as uterine fibroids, blood clots and cancer.
What are the benefits of IR procedures?
Many times, the procedure or treatment needed can be completed in a minimally invasive manner without any large incisions. These are usually not as risky or painful, and it is much easier for the patient to recover. It can be a better option than surgery, depending on the needs of the patient.
What made you pursue IR?
I enjoy being directly involved in patient care and IR is more patient facing. Additionally, IR allows me to use my imaging knowledge to not only provide guidance in identifying disease and other problems but also to perform procedures to actually treat the issues.
What do you want to accomplish in your role as National Subspecialty Lead for IR?
There are unique challenges for IR that are different than those in diagnostic radiology, and my ultimate goal is to serve and create resources for RP practices and our radiologists by providing specialized information and solutions for any IR hurdles. I want to serve as a bridge and resource to our radiologists and local practices and establish seamless solutions for coding, call, billing and maintaining relationships with hospitals. Also, I want to ensure IR is represented at RP and ensure we have a forum for communication. With so many different subspecialties, I want to amplify IR so that we can continue to grow ours.
Dr. Constantino Peña is the National Subspecialty Lead for Interventional Radiology at Radiology Partners, the largest physician-led and physician-owned radiology practice in the U.S. For the latest news from RP, follow along on our blog and on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.