BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #228
DC’ing FB’s with EP: A Collaborative Approach to Complex Foreign Body Retrievals
with Dr. Kyle Cooper and Dr. Tahmeed Contractor
In this episode, host Dr. Michael Barraza interviews Dr. Kyle Cooper, interventional radiologist and Dr. Tahmeed Contractor, electrophysiologist about how IR and EP work together at their institution, including how they perform complex pacer lead removals, and how the have embraced collaboration over competition.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, July 25). Ep. 228 – DC’ing FB’s with EP: A Collaborative Approach to Complex Foreign Body Retrievals [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Kyle Cooper
Dr. Kyle Cooper is an associate director of interventional radiology at Loma Linda University in California.
Dr. Tahmeed Contractor
Dr. Tahmeed Contractor is an electrophysiologist at Loma Linda University in California.
Dr. Michael Barraza
Dr. Michael Barraza is a practicing interventional radiologist (and all around great guy) with Radiology Associates in Baton Rouge, LA.
The doctors begin by discussing how they began working together. It was somewhat by chance that they started to work so closely, because the EP and the IR labs are directly across from each other at Loma Linda, where they work. They both began finding patients that had overlapping problems requiring intervention by both specialties, such as someone who needed a pacer lead out who also had an occluded AV fistula on the same side.
Their relationship developed further due to the nature of the complexity of some of the EP cases. They often have to remove multiple pacer leads that were placed in the patient over 30 years ago. When these devices were created, they were not designed to be removed, so it is often quite difficult to do. Furthermore, because they are mostly plastic, not metal, they often break during removal. When this happens, it is not uncommon to have to call IR to help retrieve the piece. Though a cardiothoracic surgeon is usually always scrubbed into EP cases, open heart surgery is only done if all else fails.
The two discuss how this collaboration has allowed them both to learn new skills. Dr. Contractor now does many lead extractions and will only call Dr. Cooper if there is a complication. Similarly, Dr. Cooper says he has learned many techniques from Dr. Contractor such as how to use intracardiac echo (ICE), or more commonly called intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) in IR for many more procedures than he was previously able to. Some of the challenges they have encountered is reimbursement and scheduling. With EP, CT surgery and IR are all in the room and helping, it complicates who gets paid. In general, IR bills for any venoplasty done during the procedure, and EP and CT surgery bill for the rest.
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