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Saving Limbs, Saving Lives

The Interventional Radiology (IR) Department at OSU Medical Center now offers the most advanced and complex technology.

By: Mary Bransford | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: December 2010

Dr. George Erbacher, Department Chair and Chief of Interventional Radiology at OSU Medical Center.

Dr. George Erbacher, Department Chair and Chief of Interventional Radiology at OSU Medical Center.

The Interventional Radiology (IR) Department at OSU Medical Center is saving limbs and lives. The IR Department has been completely renovated and now offers the most advanced and complex technology in interventional radiology. For more than a decade, OSU Medical Center has specialized in helping thousands of patients from Oklahoma and the surrounding region with poorly healing wounds avoid amputation and keep their limbs. Some of the services available include limb salvage (preventing amputation), cancer treatments, intravascular treatments, deep venous thrombosis and filter placement to treat and reduce the effects of life-threatening blood clots.

Dr. George Erbacher, Department Chair and Chief of Interventional Radiology, explained that limb salvage improves the quality of life for patients and saves money. “Once someone becomes immobile, their risk of dying increases as much as 75 percent within the next five years,” Dr. Erbacher said. “We offer an amazing alternative to amputation and have the capability to save limbs that otherwise might be lost. Our new technology allows us to see anatomy in three dimensions – a 360-degree view completely and accurately. We can see vessel blockage, arterial stenoses (narrowing of the arteries) and much, much more. The digital images literally rotate on our screens. Every angle, every view is seen up close and crystal clear. Many medical centers and systems are able to offer endovascular treatment. We, at OSU Medical Center, are capable of that and more. We specialize in all cases of limb wounds including venous wounds. It’s our goal to improve and completely restore blood flow to heal a patient’s wound, thus providing optimal quality of life.”

Dr. Erbacher believes that having the most technologically advanced equipment is a privilege, but it’s the team approach that enhances patients’ experience. Patients who visit OSU Medical Center’s IR Department receive streamlined, personalized care. Due to the new Dyna-CT equipment, patient exams can be completed in the Interventional Radiology suite alone. Most patients receive one sedation, are on one table and have one nurse who cares for them during the procedure. Usually, all procedures and radiological exams are completed on the same day, avoiding the need for multiple visits.

“Patients enjoy choosing their own music during the procedure. We call our patients by their names and work hard to make their experience as smooth and as friendly as possible. Most procedures are completed in less than 24 hours and involve less than a one-eighth inch incision in the skin; it’s amazing,” said Dr. Erbacher. “Family members are welcomed at all visits. While the patient is in the procedure, we visit with their loved ones via cell phone. Following the procedure, a physician visits with the patient and family about the procedure. They receive a comprehensive report including views of the images and additional follow-up as necessary.”

OSU Medical Center takes pride in offering exceptional health care, to every patient, every time. For more information about the Interventional Radiology Department, please call OSU Medical Center at (918) 599-1000.

For more information, contact

OSU Medical Center

744 W. 9th St.
Tulsa, OK 74127
(918) 599-1000

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