Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is due to thickening and hardening of the artery lining due to calcium buildup in the artery. The arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body from the heart. Calcium build up in the arteries causes blockages that make it more difficult for blood to reach the vital organs and extremities. In addition to blockages in the arteries, PAD can cause weakening in the wall of the artery resulting in an abnormal enlargement of the entire artery. This is known as an aneurysm. Similar to a balloon, continued enlargement of the artery can lead to rupture and death. PAD commonly attacks the carotid arteries (blood vessels in the neck carrying blood to the brain) and the arteries to the legs. Aneurysms usually involve the abdominal aorta (the major blood vessel that carries blood to the intestines, kidney and legs) resulting in an AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm). Both diseases are progressive in that they continue to worsen over time. The consequences of vascular disease include: poor function, tissue damage, stroke, limb loss and sometimes death.
PAD can affect any blood vessel in the body and may have no symptoms in the early stages. This is unfortunate since 4 out of 5 stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to a stroke. When symptoms appear, the disease may have already progressed significantly.
Technological advancements in ultrasound imaging of blood vessels now affords us a fast, easy, painless and non-invasive way to determine if you have PAD and to assess your risk if the disease is present. The first time you could learn that you are at serious risk of PAD is when you have a stroke or ruptured aneurysm. Don’t wait until it is too late! When we can find PAD early, the chances for successful treatment greatly improve.
If either your scans change or your symptoms change or recur, you will be brought in for an evaluation and exam by the surgeon. Additionally you will receive a biannual exam to document clinical stability.
We use high quality ultrasound imaging to check for plaque build-up in the major arteries that feed the brain. Blockage in these arteries can lead to stroke. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men will experience a stroke. 4 out of 5 of these victims will never have any warning signs prior to the stroke.
Using state of the art ultrasound machines we will check for enlargement (aneurysm) in the Aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart through the trunk of the body and supplies oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the kidneys, intestines and legs.
Utilizing advanced physiologic testing we will evaluate the quality and quantity of blood flow getting to your feet which allows us to assess the amount of plaque build-up in the leg arteries. Significant plaque in the legs can cause pain, weakness and fatigue and lead to loss of limb. You are also 5 times more likely to die of heart disease if you have PAD (peripheral arterial disease).
Unfortunately, most insurance plans and Medicare do not cover the cost of health screening tests. Our low price for this screening is $139 and includes all three tests. This fee covers the cost of the examination by highly trained, experienced sonographers that are registered in Vascular Technology by the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) and the interpretation by our board certified surgeon, a registered vascular technologist and the only registered physician in Vascular Interpretation in Carson City.
Neither PAD nor Aneurysm disease ever get better. Controlling your risk factors, especially smoking cessation, can aid in slowing the progression of disease, but nothing will stop or reverse it. Monitoring patients for progression of their vascular disease allows for earlier intervention which significantly improves outcomes. In patients who have had a vascular surgery such as an angioplasty, stent placement or vascular bypass, progression of PAD canlead to failure of the previous surgery. Again, early intervention can help keep the artery open and the previous repair intact.
The Program is specifically designed to provide efficient and effective follow-up for patients with vascular disease. The objective is to identify those patients that require early intervention for their vascular disease before it becomes a significant threat to life or limb. Our goal is to save the patient from either an emergency surgery or a more extensive reconstructive procedure.
You will be scheduled for surveillance based upon the arteries affected, any surgery that you have had and the extent of your vascular disease. All scans are performed by registered vascular technologists and interpreted by the Medical Director of the lab, Dr. Kevin Halow, M.D. We utilize well-established criteria from the Society of Vascular Surgery and the Society of Vascular Ultrasound in determining the follow-up intervals and testing for each patient. Once you have undergone your scheduled exam, one of our staff will contact you, by phone or mail, with your results. If the results of your studies document stability, you will be scheduled for follow up studies per our protocol. The intervals for your studies may initially be as short as three months, but if your tests remain stable, your intervals will increase over time. It is important to remember that the imaging exams are only part of the equation.
Varicose veins are swollen veins that typically have a blue or dark purple appearance. Often times, the veins are twisted and they’re bulging out from the skin. Varicose veins are usually found in the legs, but they can happen in other parts of your body as well. If you have varicose veins, you might be worried about how they will affect your health. Additionally, they have a significant impact on your appearance. For these reasons, you need to educate yourself on varicose veins causes so that you can determine the course of action for your condition.
The VNUS Closure procedure is a less invasive alternative to vein stripping. A small catheter is placed in the diseased vein. Then, the use of radio frequency energy is used to close the vein by heating the vein wall and causing contraction of the vein wall which will result in the closing down of the vein.
The VNUS Closure procedure has little or no discomfort associated with it. With over 95% of veins being permanently closed, this procedure has a high degree of success.
NO INCISIONS & NO SCARS
Many factors contribute to the presence of venous reflux disease including:
Patients who undergo the Closure procedure typically will resume normal activities within a day.
Most patients notice an immediate relief of symptoms such as pain, heaviness and fatigue.
Most major health insurers cover the Closure procedure. We can discuss your coverage further at the time of consultation.