OCTOBER 24, 2020 – “Interventional radiology” is a term that personnel and patients will soon be using frequently at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune.
“I think for a lot of people, even within the medical and surgical field, a lot of staff members have no idea what Interventional radiology is, or what it is capable of,” said U.S. Navy Commander David Besachio.
Besachio, a nearly 20-year Navy veteran, joined the NMCCL medical staff in August 2020.
“I think having interventional radiology here provides staff and patients with an element of exposure to state-of-the-art modalities and capabilities that you will see in any trauma center anywhere in the United States,” explained Besachio.
Interventional radiology is a specialty that utilizes imaging such as x-rays, CT scans, or ultrasounds to perform minimally invasive procedures for diagnosing and treating injury or disease.
“Interventional radiologists use imaging to accomplish what we need to do but with the goal of doing it in the most minimally invasive fashion as possible. We try to work as much as possible through a pinhole,” explained Besachio.
Besachio is the first and only interventional radiologist at the Medical Center. This resource will allow for managing more complicated cases on site rather than transferring to other facilities. Earlier this month, Besachio was able to care for a urology patient who may have commonly been transferred elsewhere.
U.S. Navy Commander Greg Whaley, NMCCL Radiology department head, reiterated the importance of having Besachio on the team. “In the past, these patients have been sent to another facility for this procedure one day, then brought back to our operating room the following day,” said Whaley. “Instead, Dr. Besachio was able to perform this complex type of kidney procedure for the first time ever at NMCCL.”
Besachio feels this is just the start of a routine for interventional radiology at NMCCL.
“I think that what our beneficiaries are going to see is that we will perform a lot of procedures that would have otherwise been performed out in the community,” said Besachio. “We are going to be able to take care of the vast majority of these minimally invasive procedures right here in this hospital.”
The addition of an interventional radiologist to the NMCCL staff also supports a goal set by the Defense Health Agency – Level II trauma center designation for the Medical Center.
“This is one more capability that supports us as a Trauma Center,” Besachio said. “Getting to a Level II requires that you have certain sub-specialties available for patients, [interventional radiology] being one of them.”
Besachio knows that while interventional radiology at NMCCL already has goals to reach, he also centers his vision of care around another goal- support.
“It’s like when you are playing any game- basketball, soccer, or hockey; there are people who score goals, but what people often forget is the assist. It’s not just about what I’m doing by myself, but how I’m going to be able to support other specialties,” explained Besachio. “It’s great to score goals, but I think what I do for people in this hospital is provide them the assist to do their jobs better and do more for their patients.”
NMCCL will take the next few months to coordinate obtaining mobile imaging equipment necessary for interventional radiology to use in both the trauma center and in other spaces, such as the Intensive Care Unit, to allow for continual care of a patient during their stay at NMCCL.
Story by NMCCL Public Affairs
Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune