Physician: Professor Giovanni Turtulici, MD Director of Struttura Semplice
Facility: Ospedale Evangelico Internazionale Genova
Featured Product: eTRAX™ and VirtuTRAX™
Q. How did you become interested in the ultrasound field?
A. Since the early 1990’s, I have had the opportunity to perform ultrasound examinations at the University of Genoa. In that time one of the first color-doppler ultrasound systems was presented in the department. At that point, I understood ultrasound was the one and only real-time imaging method.
Q. How did you become interested in using CIVCO’s eTRAX Needle Tip Tracking and VirtuTRAX Instrument Navigator guidance systems?
A. In the last few years, my field of application has been interventional ultrasound of primarily the liver, thyroid, vascular and other procedures. The use of virtual needle tracking and needle tip tracking has helped us to perform these procedures safely.
Q. What procedures do you most commonly perform when using needle tracking?
A. At the University of Genoa, we perform many types of procedures however, radiofrequency ablation of the thyroid using percutaneous ablation has been an area of focus. Additionally, hip injections of hialuronic acid and facet joint injections are also performed using VirtuTRAX.
Q. Describe your current role at your facility and how you approach education of clinicians when using ultrasound.
A. I am the Director of Struttura Semplice (Simple Structures) for the interventional department at the Ospedale Evangelico Presidio Castelletto-Genoa. I am also a professor at Genoa University. In this setting, I currently teach clinicians techniques for performing easier and safer interventional procedures.
Q. Describe a time when needle tracking helped you avoid or reduce challenges or complications.
A. Performing radiofrequency ablation of the thyroid is a difficult and potentially dangerous procedure with adjacent structures such as the esophagus, trachea and nerves surrounding the thyroid. Needle tracking is especially helpful and makes a dangerous procedure safer and easier to perform.
Q. With regards to needle tracking technology, what advice would you offer physicians entering the profession?
A. Needle tracking is a very helpful technology. It enables physicians with a tool that gives them the ability to shorten the learning process of ultrasound-guided interventional procedures.
Q. In your professional opinion, where do you think the future of ultrasound is headed?
A. In the future, ultrasound will be not only a valuable real-time diagnostic tool, but also a guide for interventional procedures within the body.