Physician: Erik Paulson, DO
Facility: Imaging Services of Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Featured Product: Ultra-Pro II™ Needle Guidance
Q. How did you become interested in Radiology Ultrasound?
A. When I first started my fellowship at USC in Los Angeles, I thought that I knew everything about ultrasound and that it was an easy modality. It wasn’t until I met Dr. Tchelepi and Dr. Deurdulian that I realized how little I knew. Over the course of the fellowship, I began to realize the importance of ultrasound and how much fun it is to scan patients.
Q. Can you tell me about your experience in ultrasound-guided procedures during your Body Fellowship and how it prepared you for your current role?
A. I probably performed over 500 ultrasound-guided procedures during the one year fellowship. In my current role as an attending radiologist in private practice, we are required to do all types of procedures whether breast, body or musculoskeletal. My experience in ultrasound has given me the confidence I need to do procedures.
Q. How were you taught to do ultrasound-guided procedures? What lead you to use CIVCO’s Ultra-Pro II needle guidance system?
A. I first learned to use a needle guide in my residency at Oklahoma State University Medical Center. My attending, Dr. Erbacher, used them for every single renal biopsy and also for vascular access during interventional procedures. In fellowship, I learned to do liver biopsies with the guide as well.
Q. Which ultrasound-guided procedures do you commonly perform using a needle-guided technique?
A. All renal biopsies, any targeted liver biopsies and any biopsy of a deep or small lesion which is difficult to access.
Q. Describe an instance when needle guidance helped you avoid or reduce procedural challenges or complications.
A. I have performed many liver biopsies that were near the portal veins or the gallbladder. The guide helps me keep track of the needle and therefore avoid any collateral damage. Also, during vascular procedures, I find it much faster to access the targeted vessel with a guide.
Q. What advice would you offer a Radiology Resident with regards to ultrasound?
A. Do as many procedures as you can because once you are on your own, you will almost certainly be required to do ultrasound-guided procedures. Use a guide on all procedures because it makes targeting much easier. Nobody wants to be the resident that gave a patient a pneumothorax during a liver biopsy!
Q. In your professional opinion, where do you think the future of ultrasound is going?
A. I think ultrasound will be utilized more and more in the future given the new regulations and renewed concern regarding radiation exposure. Also, as more procedures can be performed percutaneously and new technologies such as ultrasound contrast, elastography and 3D imaging become available, the demand for ultrasound will increase accordingly.