"I use the various imaging modalities to aid me in performing intricate procedures on patients, from blocking off bleeding blood vessels that are life-saving, to central venous catheter insertions that are life-giving. I work a lot with oncology patients from helping them to confirm their diagnosis with a needle biopsy, supporting them through with central venous access for their treatment, relieving them of their discomfort/suffering through draining abnormal fluid collections in their bodies, injecting targeted chemotherapy to their cancers and burning or freezing their cancers in lieu of surgical excision.
Radiology is the ability to see within the patient, to help diagnose their disease, and also using these imaging modalities to help manage their diseases in innovative ways that bring them back to health in partnership with our other clinical colleagues.
Every day is a new challenge. Every case is a new challenge. There is never a dull moment in our relentless pursuit for excellence in patient care. Seeing our patients' resilience in overcoming the lemons that life throws at them directs me to reflect on my life and how I take on challenges.
The most memorable moment is the most humbling one for me. I was on call at SGH and in the middle of my Mass, I was called to embolise an elderly patient with a 10cm liver cancer that ruptured and bled. It was an advanced stage with the cancer spreading to other parts of his body. I rushed down to the hospital, assessed the patient, explained to him the procedure for angioembolisation, explaining the risks including rebleeding. The team came in, we successfully stopped the bleed. A few days later, his picture appeared in the obituary. Two years later, when I was at a retreat, one of his sons recognised me and thanked me for stopping the bleed that Sunday. I was curious why he thanked me as his father still passed on within the next few days of the procedure. It turned out that the eldest son was working overseas, and it was because of the procedure that we did that the father and son could bid their final farewell, and the entire family could be together with the elderly patient on his final journey."
Dr Luke Toh
Deputy Head & Senior Consultant
Department of Diagnostic & Interventional Imaging
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital