At RIA Endovascular we offer a broad spectrum of arterial and venous care.
Our treatments are minimally invasive and extremely effective. With modern techniques and devices what used to involve open surgery and significant recovery can be performed as an outpatient procedure with minimal downtime.
Arteries are a high pressure system that is designed to take oxygenated blood and deliver that blood to the body. Arteries have a muscular wall and do not contain valves. Arteries have their own specific set of diseases and symptoms separate and usually distinct from veins. These include:
- narrowing or blockages of vessels
- enlargement (aneurysms) of vessels
- blood clots in the vessels
Arterial blockages can be present for many reasons. Smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes are some of the major causes. Symptoms of arterial blockages include:
- hair loss on the legs
- cool legs
- leg pain when walking or at rest (usually in the calf or foot)
- wounds on the foot that don’t heal
Pain when walking is known as claudication. Classic story is when a patient says “I can walk about a block and then my calf starts to hurt. I take a rest for a couple minutes and then the pain goes away and I can walk again.” Historically treatment of arterial blockages involved surgical bypass with general anesthesia and prolonged recovery. With modern techniques and devices the vast majority of these cases can now be done in a minimally invasive manner as an outpatient with sedation.
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Arterial aneurysms can occur in any part of the body and can be the cause of major morbidity and mortality. Some common aneurysms involve the aorta, the popliteal artery (behind the knee) and the artery that supplies the spleen. Depending on the location of the aneurysm risks include rupture with internal bleeding or sudden occlusion of the vessel. Both of these can have devastating outcomes. There are effective minimally invasive treatments of arterial aneurysms and these can be discussed in consultation with our physicians.
Veins are low pressure blood vessels that are designed to return low oxygen blood to the heart. Veins have thin walls and use delicate valves to help the blood move. The most common diseases of the veins usually involve blood clots and venous reflux.
Blood clots, also known as DVT, can be a very serious condition. If a blood clot develops in the legs there is a small chance it can travel to the lung and can be life threatening. Blood clots in the legs can cause severe leg swelling and disability. If severe and found early, a minimally invasive procedure can be used to dissolve blood clots and return the venous system to its normal state. Many people have had blood clots in the past and continue to suffer because the blood clot can permanently damage the vein and impair the return of blood flow to the heart. This is called post-thrombotic syndrome. Symptoms include, chronic swelling, pain, heaviness, wounds that don’t heal, skin darkening and prominent varicose veins. Our providers perform cutting edge treatment for post thrombotic syndrome to improve flow through the veins with excellent outcomes. We have treated many patients who have been told “This is how your leg will be for the rest of your life and there is nothing we can do.” If you have had a clot and continue to suffer the effects please know there are options to help.
The other disease we see commonly with regards to veins is referred as “reflux”. This means that the delicate valves in the veins do not function properly and as a result gravity pulls on the blood and causes it to pool in the legs and superficial veins. Reflux often runs in families. Reflux can also cause leg pain, heaviness, itching, progressive swelling, varicose veins, restless legs, skin discoloration and skin breakdown with ulcers. When you come to our clinic for evaluation of your venous system you will receive an ultrasound from a certified sonographer who will identify if venous reflux is present. If present, we offer the full spectrum of venous treatments including:
- Foam Sclerotherapy
- Cosmetic Sclerotherapy
- Laser Ablation – Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
- Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) for leg veins
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
Since there can be overlap in the symptoms with post thrombotic syndrome and venous reflux we will also evaluate your deep venous system during the same ultrasound. We are dedicated to treating the entire venous system.
Blood clots can form in your body’s deep veins if a vein’s inner lining is damaged. Injuries caused by physical, chemical or biological factors can damage the veins. Such factors include surgery, serious injuries, inflammation and immune responses. Or, if blood flow is sluggish or slow. Lack of motion can cause sluggish or slow blood flow. This may occur after surgery, if you’re ill and in bed for a long time, or if you’re traveling for a long time. Your blood is thicker or more likely to clot than normal. Some inherited conditions (such as factor V Leiden) increase the risk of blood clotting. Hormone therapy or birth control pills also can increase the risk of clotting.
Specific procedures on how to treat clots include:
- Stenting for May-Thurner Disease
- Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis and Thrombectomy
- Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Placement & Removal
- Pulmonary Thromboembectomy
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Only about half of the people who have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) have signs and symptoms. If you do have symptoms, the symptoms occur in the leg affected by the deep vein clot and may include:
- Swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg
- Pain or tenderness in the leg, which you may feel only when standing or walking
- Increased warmth in the area of the leg that’s swollen or painful
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
Our ability to use imaging guidance and cutting-edge technology minimizes patient risk. Prior to your procedure, your physician will discuss any potential risks with you.
Conditions to let us know about
Let your doctor know if you currently are pregnant or breast feeding, feeling ill, have a fever, or are taking any blood thinners.
Arterial and venous procedures are covered by most private insurance providers as well as Medicare. We will seek authorization from your insurance company prior to your procedure.
Preparing for your procedure
If you are on blood thinners your doctor will instruct you if you need to stop these medications prior to the procedure. Your procedure requires sedation and you will need a responsible adult to give you a ride home.
Recovering from your procedure
You will receive moderate sedation during your procedure. You will stay in the recovery area until you are ready for discharge. You will be given written post procedure discharge instructions that will advise you about return to normal physical activity. If you have any questions after your procedure, please call the RIA Interventional Suite at 720-493-3406.