Alumni News

New treatment for endometriosis

Catrina Panuccio

Bachelor of Medical Radiation (now Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science)
Graduate Diploma in Medical Radiation (now Graduate Diploma in Medical Sonography)
Managing Director of Specialist Imaging Partners
Catrina Panuccio

Catrina Panuccio is one of Adelaide’s leading sonographers. She has been providing essential services to women and children in Adelaide for over 20 years, including being one of the first sonographers to offer new ultrasound practices for endometriosis treatment which avoids patients undergoing two invasive procedures.

Catrina values the opportunity she had working closely and independently with recognised specialists, and is passing her knowledge onto her fellow UniSA alumni who she employs at her own successful ultrasound practice Specialist Imaging Partners.

“For the past four years I have been actively involved in promotion and awareness of endometriosis, and the importance of a detailed ultrasound,” says Catrina.

“Detailed endometriosis ultrasound has many advantages for patients with known endometriosis or who have symptoms of it, including the streamlining of patient management and the avoidance of two invasive procedures and anaesthetics.

“I have given various talks about the advancements in ultrasound to specialists, general practitioners and fertility centres, and I have been invited to present at the EndoMarch awareness week on various occasions.”

As well as helping people with the often debilitating condition of endometriosis, she also introduced new ultrasound procedures for people in Adelaide suffering from prolapse and incontinence.

“I worked with two internationally recognised urogynaecologists who together helped me introduce pelvic floor sonography to Adelaide.

“Today, I am still promoting the benefits of transperineal ultrasound for prolapse and incontinence in women and have spent much time educating and teaching others about its clinical applications.

“Pelvic floor ultrasound is being utilised for surgical planning for women with prolapse and incontinence, and is particularly helpful for those with recurrent prolapse symptoms.”

Despite this undeniably impressive success, Catrina believes her greatest career achievement has been opening and managing her own sonography–based ultrasound practice in North Adelaide, which employs four sonographers who studied at UniSA.

“Whilst successfully running my own ultrasound practice has been one of the greatest challenges of my life, the inspiration that drives this practice forward is to treat patients the way I would like to be treated. Be honest, be concise, friendly, compassionate and professional.

“At the same time, the focus is to provide a high quality standard of scanning embracing innovative advancements in the applications of ultrasound.”

“With a boutique focus on women’s health and paediatric ultrasound, I have chosen a team of sonographers who are dedicated to their profession and respectful of others. They take pride in their work and are motivated to achieve the best possible results for our patients and referrers.

One of these sonographers is Alison Deslandes, who completed UniSA’s Graduate Diploma in Medical Sonography so she could get her accreditation, and later returned to complete the Master of Medical Sonography.

Catrina also employs Elodie Richards as a medical receptionist who is currently studying a Business degree at UniSA, and believes this employment is giving her a unique opportunity to gain invaluable skills in front desk management whilst still studying.

Catrina is grateful not only for the education she received at UniSA, but also for the confidence and interpersonal skills that helped her achieve her successful career.

“My competitive nature always means that I aim for 110 per cent and UniSA provided a great support for this, encouraging me to succeed further as a high achiever.”

Catrina has always enjoyed teaching others and still maintains a close relationship with UniSA by delivering guest lectures to current students. She has also participated in an education group for rural general practitioners and Emergency Department doctors to help them gain essential skills required for emergency or Focussed Assessment with Sonography (FAST) scanning, and has also been involved in teaching obstetric registrars and midwives the basics of ultrasound.

“When I engaged in my studies at UniSA 20 years ago now I never imagined I would be where I am now. This is a true example that you can make whatever it is that you want of your professional career. Studies give you all of the foundations to achieve great things – it’s a big competitive world. Believe you can do it and your opportunities will be endless.”

Find out more about studying postgraduate Medical Sonography at UniSA here.

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