As one of the newest physicians at Radiology & Imaging, Dr. David Saldaña brings special expertise to the team and helps the practice stay on the cutting edge.
By: Sarah Tindall
Photos By: Dustin Ashcraft
Dr. David Saldaña is one of the newest members of the Radiology & Imaging (R&I) team, and he is eager to go to work each day and help his patients. Saldaña’s specialties are thoracic and breast imaging, so he spends his time interpreting mammogram and other imaging studies to hunt for any abnormalities that must be addressed.
He has great news for patients who go to R&I, too: Because of the incredible advances in technology available to radiologists at R&I, many smaller breast and lung cancers are being caught during routine screenings. The number of mammographic callbacks for further testing has been reduced because radiologists are able to determine if something is benign at screening mammography with tomosynthesis.
The latest technology in mammography is breast tomosynthesis, or 3-D mammography. After FDA approval of 3-D mammograms/tomosynthesis, it crept into the larger cities, but was not available at R&I.
“Now we have the same technologies here in Corpus Christi that were already being used in larger cities,” Saldaña explains. “The research shows we’re catching smaller cancers with this new 3-D mammography/tomosynthesis, and there are less patients suffering from the anxiety of being called back. If need be, we can perform a breast biopsy. We’ve always been able to do ultrasound-guided biopsies, but now we can do stereotactic biopsies at our South Imaging Center.”
While in fellowship, Saldaña interpreted studies using the national lung cancer screening trial, low-dose chest CT. The national lung screening trial showed that low-dose chest CT screening programs can reduce mortality for patients with a high risk of lung cancer. It was a natural fit for him to add lung cancer screenings to his work at R&I.
“I’m excited to bring my skills to Corpus Christi, building these new areas of imaging here,” he says. Now patients at risk for lung cancer can get screened, which will mean higher survival rates for lung cancer because it will be caught at an earlier stage.
Saldaña grew up in San Antonio and followed in his father’s footsteps, as he went to medical school and became a radiologist. He brings special expertise to R&I, as he completed his thoracic and breast imaging fellowship at M.D. Anderson in Houston, working on cutting-edge equipment with access to the foremost research available in the field.
But it wasn’t all academic for Saldaña, who says he has been personally touched by lung and breast cancer in his own family, which gives him the motivation to go to work every day and make a difference for his patients.
After two years at R&I, Saldaña is looking forward to a bright future for the Coastal Bend. “It’s an exciting time right now; there’s a lot of change in our field,” he says. “I’m glad to be in Corpus Christi with Radiology & Imaging. We’ve got new equipment and new screenings. Radiology is changing, and we’re leading the pack. That’s the big news; it’s nice to be a part of a growing practice that’s looking into the future.”
Radiology & Imaging has two locations in Corpus Christi: 3226 South Alameda and 2825 Spohn South Drive. For more information, visit www.radiologyimaging.com or call 361-888-8875.