A Patient Story – Beverly

A Patient Story – Beverly

In July 2019, Beverly had her annual mammogram. Due to her strong family history of breast cancer, it was recommended that she have a bilateral breast MRI six months later. The week after her MRI, she received a call from Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center to schedule a bilateral breast ultrasound because of something that enhanced on her scan. Two days later, Dr. Amanda Squires, a Women’s Imaging Radiologist with Vista Radiology, conducted an ultrasound guided biopsy. Dr. Squires was not pleased with what she saw on the results and recommended Beverly have genetic testing. The following day, Beverly received a call from Dr. Squires informing her that the biopsy revealed malignant breast cancer.

When Beverly was growing up in nearby Maryville, Tennessee, her best friend’s sister was in Xray school. She would share with the girls about her experience which peaked Beverly’s interest. “I chose radiology because I was very interested in healthcare and wanted a career where I could help people,” shared Beverly. A retired CT/XR/MAMM Tech from Outpatient Diagnostic Center of Knoxville, Beverly first met Dr. Squires when she read Mammography for the center. “She was very knowledgeable, kind and we techs felt like she was the best mammography radiologist we had ever had,” she explained. Beverly went on to describe her experience now as her patient, “Dr. Squires was so sweet and caring during my biopsy and phone call the following day.”

Beverly is no stranger to breast cancer. Her maternal grandmother had breast cancer in her early 70’s resulting in a unilateral mastectomy followed by chemo and radiation. Around 3 years later, the cancer reoccurred in her Grandmother’s other breast ,but this time, it had metastasized to her bones and liver. She died around 6 months later. Beverly’s mom and aunt were also diagnosed with breast cancer. Following their treatments, they are now cancer free.

The impact of watching her family walk through breast cancer directly impacted the treatment she chose. Beverly’s surgeon explained that she had a 33% chance of reoccurrence. “Because of my mom and aunt’s success in beating breast cancer after having bilateral mastectomies, I felt like it was the right choice for me. I didn’t want to worry about it coming back in the other breast,” explained Beverly.

Beverly credits Dr. Squires with her positive outcome because of her recommendation for the follow up MRI. “I had no node involvement. They would not have found my cancer so early had it not been for Dr. Squires recommendation,” shared Beverly. She continued, “Dr. Squires saved my life! I have never felt so well taken care of by doctors in my life. They all worked together like a well-oiled machine.” When asked about how this experience has changed her, Beverly said, “The whole journey has made me so thankful and appreciative of how blessed I am.”

The Impact of Viz.ai Technology on Stroke Care

The Impact of Viz.ai Technology on Stroke Care

When asked about his experience with Viz.ai platform since Vista Radiology’s rollout of the technology in 2019, Dr. Robert Hixson shared:

“With Viz.ai technology, I can be at dinner reviewing a patient’s acute stroke scan on my mobile phone. The application saves critical minutes resulting in faster diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Many times, I am the one calling the team before they know the results of the scan to alert them of a problem I can potentially fix since I was notified by the app.  The ability to be proactive in the treatment of stroke patients is a game changer.”

H. Robert Hixson, M.D.

Formerly from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dr. Hixson attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health and Science Center in Memphis. Following his residency, he completed a 2-year Interventional Neuroradiology fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. His clinical interests range from minimally invasive cerebral aneurysm treatment and endovascular stroke therapy to carotid angioplasty and stenting and head and neck vascular malformation sclerotherapy. His memberships include American Society of Neuroradiology, Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Radiology, and American Roentgen Ray Society. Dr. Hixson was board-certified in 2013 by the American Board of Radiology and joined the Vista Radiology team in 2017.

A Patient Story – Geralyn

A Patient Story – Geralyn

In April of 2018, Geralyn fell and suffered a concussion. When she began experiencing migraines a year later, she knew there was reason for concern. At 62 years old, Geralyn is the oldest in her family to survive with aneurysms. She explained how her life was turned upside down when her mother died suddenly, at the age of 52, from an aneurysm. “Most of my family died in their 40’s from fatal aneurysms,” she said. “I felt like I was a ticking time bomb.”

In September, Geralyn was referred to Dr. Keith Woodward, neuro-interventional radiologist with Visa Radiology, for further evaluation. The migraines were not normal for her and she knew with added memory loss that there was a problem. Dr. Woodward discovered three aneurysms in her brain. He presented several treatment options to Geralyn, yet her decision to proceed was met with great anxiety and fear. “I was so worked up about the situation. My daughter encouraged me to take it one day at a time,” she shared.

With her daughter by her side, Geralyn underwent surgery to repair the aneurysms on October 31, 2019. After three hours, Dr. Woodward was able to fill the three aneurysms with platinum coiling, but in the process discovered she had a total of six. Afterwards, Geralyn felt great. “I felt like myself – and was not scared anymore,” she shared. Dr. Woodward will continue to monitor the remaining three sites over the next year to determine if additional surgery is needed.

Following the surgery, Geralyn told her daughter, “It was scary, but worth it!” The sense of relief that she overcame the condition that has taken so many of her loved ones gave her great peace. “When I saw Dr. Woodward for my follow up, I just broke down and cried,” said Geralyn. She continued, “You saved my life!”.

Physician Highlight: Fred McLean, M.D.

Physician Highlight:
Fred McLean, M.D.

Fred McLean grew up in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC. His father was a physicist and his mother a chemist, so a pursuit in a scientific area seemed like a natural path to pursue. But he enjoyed building relationships with people and wanted a career that would allow him to combine science with human interactions. Sitting at a bus stop one day, he asked himself, “What do I really want to do?” he thought, “I want to become a doctor.“

After medical school and radiology residency training in South Carolina, Dr. McLean completed his fellowship in neuroradiology from Wake Forest University school of medicine in 1995. Shortly thereafter, he moved his wife and two small children to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Dr. McLean was grateful to find an opportunity to practice in Oak Ridge, just a short drive from his wife’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.

In 1997, Dr. McLean’s practice merged with Vista Radiology and his role expanded. At Roane Medical Center, Dr. McLean performs interventional procedures as well as a broad range of imaging services including: vascular access procedures, spine injections, image guided biopsies, bone densitometry, joint injections, breast imaging, CT scans, and MRI studies. Dr. McLean enjoys the diversity of his work at Roane Medical Center. “It’s a nice balance. Radiology offers a lot of technology advancements that are challenging and interesting. I also enjoy the variety of patient interactions in my day,“ explained Dr. McLean.

In his spare time, Dr. McLean admits, “I enjoy golf a little more than I should.” He and his wife have a son and daughter. They love traveling and caring for their garden. When he has time, he likes to escape with his favorite books.

A Patient Story – Jane

A Patient Story – Jane

It was Thursday morning and Jane was sitting at her kitchen table.  She had just finished breakfast when she lost her balance and fell off her chair into the floor. Jane tried to pick herself up but was unable to move. She had difficulty breathing and told her husband to grab the phone from her pocket.  Jane, age 77, is the primary caregiver of her husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. With her urging, he went to a neighbor for help.

When the EMT personnel arrived, they knew immediately that Jane was suffering from a stroke.  She recalled the paramedic announcing, “She has to go to Knoxville,” bypassing the local hospital. Jane does not remember many details but recalled that a nurse, from the stroke team, advised her to be very still because it was an emergency.  During the procedure Jane heard, Dr. Keith Woodward, Neuro-Interventional Radiologist with Vista Radiology, announcing, “We got it. You had a blood clot.” Jane could feel pain near her right ear as the clot was removed.  Following her procedure, she experienced some drawing on her right side but was talking and alert.

After discussion with Jane’s family, the doctors learned that earlier that week, she had a routine tooth extraction.  Jane was advised to stop her normal blood thinning medication.  She decided to wait until the following day to restart because the bleeding was so heavy.  Three days later, she suffered the stroke.

Jane is back to one mile walks three mornings a week and is able to care for her husband again.  “The Lord had everyone lined up for me that day,” said Jane.  When she met Dr. Woodward for a follow up visit, she expressed her extreme gratitude.  “I gave him a big hug for saving my life,” she exclaimed.