The Abdominal Imaging Section of the UC Davis Department of Radiology is staffed by a team of subspecialty fellowship trained experts, who provide comprehensive diagnostic and interventional services for types of abdominal and pelvic diseases. We are focused on providing top quality clinical care, training the next generation of radiologists, and advancing and sharing knowledge.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
We use state of the art magnetic resonance imaging equipment and imaging protocols to examine diseases of the abdomen and pelvis. For example, we routinely do MRI for characterization of focal masses of the liver, kidneys and pancreas, metastatic surveys for tumors, and evaluation of female reproductive organs. We also use MR for more advanced applications, such as quantitative and qualitative assessment of liver fat, iron, and fibrosis, and diagnosis and staging of certain cancers, such as rectal, prostate, and cervical cancer and hepatocellular cancer. We also perform MR enterography for small bowel diseases, MR defecography for female pelvic floor dysfunction, and MR angiography for pre and postoperative evaluation of renal transplants - using novel intravascular contrast agents. Our dedicated MR service is staffed by abdominal radiologists with subspecialty training in body MRI working in conjugation with an abdominal imaging fellow. The MR team is led by Dr. Mike Corwin who works closely with clinical colleagues to develop specific MR protocols to best serve our patients.
Computed Tomography (CT):
The abdominal section employs state of the art, reduced radiation dose protocols and 64 slice or greater multidetector-row CT equipment to image a plethora of abdominal and pelvic pathologies. It is our mainstay for trauma imaging, cancer surveillance, vascular pathologies, and abdominal pain evaluation. In addition to routine abdominal pelvic CT’s, we perform specialized CT’s including CT enterography for small bowel pathology, CT urography for evaluation of the urinary tract, and CT colonography for non-invasive and sedation free colon cancer screening. The CT team is led by Dr. Ramit Lamba whose vision was to design unique CT protocols that have been designed and optimized to address specific and unique clinical questions, while maintaining optimal radiation doses. We thus employ over 35 CT protocols to provide high quality patient specific imaging to answer a diverse array of clinical questions. All CT exams are interpreted by subspecialty fellowship trained abdominal radiologists, with contemporaneous training of residents and fellows.
In addition to performing routine abdominal-pelvic, head and neck, scrotal and early pregnancy ultrasounds, some members of the abdominal section partner with a stellar maternal and fetal medicine division at UC Davis to interpret second and third-trimester obstetrical ultrasounds. Advanced ultrasound techniques, including elastography for liver fibrosis evaluations, sono-hysterograms, and contrast-enhanced ultrasound, are also a routine part of our practice. Dr. John McGahan, who is a member of our ultrasound team is nationally and internationally recognized for his contributions to general and obstetric ultrasound. An excellent dedicated team of sonographers takes great pride in providing compassionate care for our patients.
The art of fluoroscopy is a time-honored tradition in radiology. At UC Davis Health, we take care to obtain the best quality images while maintaining low radiation dose to the patient. Our recently acquired fluoroscopy machine has remote control abilities, that provides a unique experience both for the patient and the operator. It also allows recording of the real time physiologic events (such as swallowing and transit of contrast of contrast in the bowel) thus reducing the need for spot images, further decreasing radiation dose to the patient. We perform fluoroscopic evaluations of the GI tract including the esophagus, the urinary tracts, and male urethra for a variety of clinical reasons including evaluation of luminal perforations and leaks. We also have a small cadre of radiologists who specialize in performing evaluations of the uterus and fallopian tubes (hysterosalpingography). Our subspecialized team lead by Dr. Sumayya Jawadi works cohesively with a caring team of technologists to optimize the care of our patients.
Cross-Sectional Interventional Radiology (CSIR):
Our dedicated team of cross-sectional interventional radiologists performs a wide range of non-vascular procedures that are done using cross sectional imaging guidance (Ultrasound and CT), which include biopsies of abdominal pelvic masses, lymph-nodes, thyroid nodules, head and neck masses, native and transplant kidneys, tumor ablations, intra-tumoral chemotherapy injections, thoracentesis, paracentesis, and aspiration and drainage of fluid collections. These procedures often circumvent invasive surgery, need for general anesthesia and hospital admission. We offer cancer patients minimally invasive tumor biopsies to obtain tumor samples that are used to direct both clinical treatments as well as research trials. Our team of dedicated abdominal non-vascular interventionalists led by Dr. Sima Naderi prides itself in extremely skilled use of ultrasound, which is used to guide the majority of our interventional procedures thus avoiding any exposure to radiation. When using CT, we employ state of the art CT fluoroscopy to minimize procedural radiation dose. A nurse practitioner runs the paracentesis clinic, allowing the interventionalists to focus on more complex cases, while ourdedicated team of nurses is committed to providing the best possible experience and painless recovery for our patients.
In addition, we perform image-guided tumor ablation as a treatment option for cancer. This minimally invasive technique can obviate major surgery. We use both thermal (radio frequency waves and microwaves) and cooling techniques (cryoablations) for tumor ablations. Thermal ablation is widely used by our team to destroy small primary liver tumors (hepatocellular carcinoma), liver metastases, and renal and adrenal neoplasms. Apart from being excellent alternatives to surgery these techniques can be crucial to treat patients who are deemed to be a high risk for surgery and can also be used to treat recurrences of previously treated tumors. The ablation team is led by Dr. John McGahan who pioneered the use of radio-frequency ablation in his lab in the early 90’s.
Section Chief: Ramit Lamba, MD