Tower doctor sees his profession in military terms
By Kyle LoJacono
During Dr. Raj Kedar’s 20 years in radiology, he has seen the technology change radically.
When he started, doctors had to share one copy of an X-ray of a broken bone, but today dozens of doctors can see images from deep within a joint, of a heart pumping blood and the inner functioning of a brain at the same time.
“I enjoy every day,” said Kedar, 49. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Kedar’s passion is evident in how he speaks of radiology, also known as imaging.
“It’s like intelligence for doctors,” said Kedar, medical director of Tower Radiology Center Wesley Chapel. “We’re doctor’s doctors. We find the enemy in someone’s body and help doctors find the best way to get rid of it. Nothing can hide with the equipment we have today.”
Kedar estimated that 35 percent of the technology used at Tower today did not exist when he started two decades ago. What did exist was primitive by today’s standards.
“A CT (CAT) scan took about five minutes back then,” Kedar said. “Today we can do it in five seconds.”
One of the newest advancements in the field is physiology imaging, which uses a sugar solution injected into the patient. The solution moves through parts the body, such as the heart, to give doctors a view into how it is working. Most pictures taken in radiology are anatomical, looking at a part of the body that is not moving like a bone or joint.
Frank Connelly, Tower Radiology chief operating officer, said new physiology imaging just came online at the Wesley Chapel facility last week.
Kedar said he was taught that medicine has three important parts — diagnosis, treatment and prevention. He believes radiology involves all three aspects.
“Diagnosis is what people think of most when they think of radiology, but it’s a big part of treatment too,” Kedar said. “We let doctors and patients see what their treatment is doing for them and we can also catch little issues before they become a big problem, so prevention.”
Along with the technology now being used in the industry, new electronic records have also made treatment much faster. Once images are loaded at Tower’s Wesley Chapel, North Dale Mabry in Lutz or nine other locations, a patient’s primary doctor can instantly see the same picture. They can also listen to Kedar’s diagnosis.
“It cuts down on time and makes treatment better,” Kedar said. “I can get second opinions from other doctors when making recommendations.”
Tower, which is owned and operated by doctors, has 32 radiologists within its system. They are all specialists within the field, ranging from heart, women’s health or physical medicine as Kedar is.
“Having specialists allows for better treatment,” Connelly said. “It makes it more efficient when we have people who know everything about their part of the field.”
Tower has had the Wesley Chapel facility, 2324 Oak Myrtle Lane, for about two years and is located less than two miles from the future Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
The North Dale Mabry facility, 17503 N. Dale Mabry in Lutz, is slightly newer at about 1.5 years old and is less than one mile from St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, which opened a year ago. Kedar said the proximity to the hospitals was an important factor in picking their locations.
“It was definitely a factor,” Kedar said. “Patients want an imaging center like these to be close to their hospital for convenience. Also, we believe these areas are growing and we want to be here for those people. Once you get a place like this with all the equipment it’s hard to move, so we’re in it for the long haul right where we are.”
Additionally, Tower is actively involved with new clinical research. They were part of the testing of an Alzheimer’s treatment drug that just came on the market less than a month ago. Patients who were given the drug were tested for its effectiveness at Tower.
“It helps us advance the technology and treatment for everyone,” Connelly said.
Each of Tower’s locations offers various imaging options. For a list of procedures at the sites, visit www.towerdiagnostic.com.