Pioneers Memorial Hospital introduces additions to interventional radiology program

Dr.George Rapp and Dr. Shahrouz Tahvilian will work with patients using the new CT scan for Pioneers Memorial Hospital’s interventional radiology program.

BRAWLEY - Pioneers Memorial Hospital unveiled new radiology equipment Thursday, and introduced the two interventional radiologists who will work with the advanced technology the hospital hopes will make minimally invasive procedures the new standard.

Dr. George Rapp, an interventional radiologist with Pioneers Memorial, has returned to the Imperial Valley to work with Dr. Shahrouz Tahvilian, chairman of the Department of Radiology and director of Interventional Radiology at Pioneers Memorial Hospital.

According to Rapp, interventional radiology is a medical specialty using minimally invasive procedures. The technology uses images to guide doctors into many different parts of the body and allows them to diagnose and treat diseases more efficiently.

“We can use imaging to get almost anywhere in the body,” said Tahvilian.

The use of interventional radiology can reduce risks and even create quicker recovery times, the doctors said. It can be used for patients with cancer, vascular diseases, and nonvascular diseases.

“We group it into two groups of issues,” said Rapp. “There’s vascular, which can be problems like arterial disease – where you’re not getting enough blood to your legs. The other group of patients would be the nonvascular problems, such as tumors and problems with the GI system.”

Pioneers Memorial Hospital has invested in a new CT scanner for the radiology department. They plan to upgrade several other imaging machines to continue building the interventional radiology program.

Tahvilian explained why the new radiology equipment is valuable to the hospital and the residents of the Imperial Valley.

“We can do same day treatments. Patients can come in the morning and get to leave that same afternoon,” said Tahvilian.

Hospital officials said having the new equipment at Pioneers will reduce the need to travel to San Diego for treatment, and Tahvilian and Rapp will be better equipped to help the residents of the Imperial Valley.

“It’s nice to come back and contribute to the community,” said Rapp of his return.

Rapp and Tahvilian said they hope to continue improvements to the interventional radiology program with new, updated equipment, and they look forward to being able to provide better care for their patients.