By Hernan G Bertoni MD, Interventional Radiologist
I am currently the Head of Interventional Oncology at the Alexander Fleming / Fleni Institute and the Oncology Hospital of the Buenos Aires University.
I completed my specialist training at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris, and at the Rangueil Hospital in Toulouse, France during 1996 to 1999.
The situation of interventional radiology in our country is still underdeveloped. Interventional cardiology occupies a place in peripheral vascular activity just like vascular surgery, where
there should be interventional radiologists.
Little by little our specialty is growing and occupying places. We are in the development and growth of the Argentine College of Interventional Radiology (CARVI). Although, due to Dr. Parodi's background, many aortic endovascular interventions are performed in our country, very few of them are currently performed by interventional radiologists, as is vascular intervention in peripheral pathology.
Where there is greater development of our specialty is in the area of embolotherapy and oncological interventionism. Currently, I am the Head of the Interventional Service in the Oncology Hospital of the Buenos Aires University and the Alexander Fleming Private Institute of Oncology. My medical team is made up of a surgeon and two cardiologists, who have carried out an interventional training program under my supervision for 4 years.
Our hybrid endovascular operating rooms allow us to perform all types of endovascular, percutaneous and thermoablation interventions with total reliability and efficiency.
Number of IR facilities
Taking our country into account, there are currently around 100 intervention rooms for interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, vascular interventionism and neuro-interventionism. Except in certain places in Buenos Aires, in the rest, the four sub-specialties are carried out in the same place.
Private or academic
The division between private and academic in our country works as follows. Most intervention centres are private but most are part of public or private universities. There are also some public interventionism centres and many of them are not part of university academic activity.
Independent or embedded in radiology or surgery: All interventional radiologist centres are part of radiology or cardiology services.
In the developed interventional centres in our country, all kinds of procedures are performed, for example: uterine fibroid embolization, prostatic embolization, pelvic congestion syndrome, TACE, peripheral embolization, angioplasty in vascular accesses, hepatic and pulmonary thermoablation, etc. Hepatic radioembolization we carry out only in three places in Argentina.
Training programs in IR
There are very few IR training centres. We are behind increasing the possibility of training specialists through our school (CARVI).
International contacts and collaborations
The interventional radiologists that we have trained outside our country have generally been in Europe. Therefore, our contact and collaboration are generally with CIRSE, ECIO and GEST.
In conjunction with CARVI, the plan is to create a training course in Interventional Radiology dependent on the University of Buenos Aires in the immediate future.
Hepatic Radioembolization team made up of oncologists, nuclear medicine and interventional radiologist
Training carried out in New Orleans at the Ochsner Hospital by Dr. Juan Gimenez