Prescott’s Leading Group of Subspecialty Radiologists
Vascular Specialists and Interventional Radiologists Provide Specialized Care for Prescott’s Community
About Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott
Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott (VISP) has been a part of the Prescott medical community and serving patients since 2010. We are a group of subspecialty radiologists that perform numerous minimally-invasive, low-risk procedures using the tools of our trade for guidance—x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. Our goal is to educate the public and medical community, then diagnose and treat people in the safest, most compassionate way, with rapid recovery times and low risk of complications.
Meet Our Doctors
The physicians at VISP offer a vast background and thorough experience in diagnostic and interventional radiology, specializing in minimally invasive procedures using image guidance. The subspecialty group also provides therapeutic treatment through specific procedures to help alleviate chronic and severe back pain.
Click here to learn more about the specialties of Dr. Dicker, Dr. Lloyd, and Dr. Paxton.
- Back – VISP offers an array of therapies to treat chronic and severe back pain such as caudal epidurals, nerve block procedures, sciatica epidurals, injections similar to a cortisone injection, and vertebral cement augmentation.
- Arterial – The physicians at VISP are vascular specialists who work with patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD) to provide treatments to correct narrowed or blocked vessels to ease blood circulation throughout the body.
- Vein – Patients will see our varicose vein specialists for top-level care to treat uncomfortable and painful varicose veins, spider veins and reticular veins. Vein ablation procedures are nonsurgical and provide a quick recovery time.
- Cancer – The interventional specialists at VISP perform specific cancer therapy treatments to help shrink the size of tumors in cancer patients. Learn more here about the types of therapies offered.
- Epidurals – An epidural injection is a method to deliver pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medicine to the epidural layer of the spine. VISP physicians use epidurals often to relieve severe back pain and chronic back pain in their patients.
- Nerve Blocks – Nerve block injections are used to alleviate pain by way of turning off the pain signal to the brain. The doctors at VISP use the nerve block procedure often in patients who are experiencing debilitating pain in their bodies. Learn more about the procedure here.
- Other – There are many procedures that we do at VISP with precision and care including implanting MediPorts, J Tube Placements, PICC Lines, IVC Filter Placement and Removal, Biopsies, and more.
Conditions We Treat
The hardworking and diligent team of physicians at VISP performs an array of diagnostic testing, procedures and treatment options for many conditions. Area physicians often refer to us because we are well-known and trusted to provide the best in care for our patients who are experiencing the following:
Can Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Cause Weight Gain?
Can Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Cause Weight Gain? Are you an adult woman under 45 years? Have you had multiple pregnancies? Do you often experience chronic pelvic pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, be extra careful of getting pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). According to John Hopkins Medicine, an estimate of one-third of all women will experience chronic pelvic pain associated with PCS during their lifetime. Chronic pain from PCS occurs when there is blood accumulation, dilation, and congestion in your pelvic veins (also known as pelvic varicose veins). [Read: Varicose Veins: Managing Symptoms] Most women suffering from PCS are under 45 years old and have had multiple pregnancies. Now, what are the symptoms, causes, and side effects of pelvic congestion syndrome? Can it cause weight gain? Read on to find out! Pelvic Congestion Syndrome: Causes, Risks, Symptoms Pelvic congestion syndrome (pelvic venous congestion syndrome) is a chronic condition that causes pain in the lower torso (pelvic region). The condition causes painful, swollen, and bulging ovarian and pelvic veins, also known as pelvic varicose veins. The enlarged vein causes dizziness and pain when you are sexually active (dyspareunia), heavy lifting, or standing. The pain can quickly progress to a sharp, throbbing sensation that’s only relieved when you lie down. Chronic pain can last six months or more. Although it’s not related to a woman’s menstrual cycle, it can become more severe during her period. Causes Normal veins have blood flowing from the pelvis to the heart in the ovarian and ovarian veins. Valves within the vein prevent blood from flowing backward. If the ovarian vein valve becomes damaged or weak, blood can’t flow efficiently from the vein to the heart. This causes blood to backflow (reflux) and pool in the vein, leading to congestion and swelling. The result? Chronic pain, heaviness, and pelvic varicose veins. Many events may damage the pelvic veins, including: Weight gainHormonal fluctuationsMultiple pregnancies Damaged pelvic veins can cause swelling of surrounding organs such as the bladder, intestines, and rectum. Majority of women who are affected by PCS ages between 20 and 45 with multiple pregnancies. During pregnancy, hormones fluctuate, pelvic anatomy changes, and the volume of blood and estrogen increases. These conditions can weaken the walls of the blood vessels. Risks A woman who is less than 45 years old during her childbearing ageMultiple previous pregnancies (up to 2 or more)Hormonal Imbalance (dysfunction and excess)Retroverted uterus (also known as “tipped”)Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)The fullness of leg veinsVaginal, ovarian, and pelvic varicose veins Symptoms Pelvic congestion syndrome is often confused with menstrual discomfort. However, the signs of PCS usually do not appear until a woman gets pregnant. The condition worsens during subsequent pregnancies, as the ovarian veins begin to dilate and enlarge to accommodate an increased pelvic blood flow. PCS can last up to six months. The severity of pain can vary greatly from one person to another. The main symptoms could include: Chronic Pelvic Pain. The dragging pain and heaviness in the pelvis become more severe when you sit or stand, especially during menstruation. The majority of the pain associated with PCS disappears after you sleep at night.Lumbago. The pain in the lower back and muscles.Chronic pain in the hips, abdomen, and buttocks.Irritable bowel that causes persistent abdominal pain and alternating periods with diarrhea or constipation.Irritable bladder with possible stress incontinence.Dyspareunia. Pain or discomfort after or during sexual intercourse.Vaginal swelling or vulvae swellingAbdominal or pelvic tendernessPelvic varicose veins during pregnancy. Bulging veins that surround the vulva, vagina, or thighs.Vaginal discharge that’s abnormally clear or wateryDysmenorrhea or painful periodsAbnormal menstrual bleedingFatigue and lethargyIncreased urinationMood swings (anxiety, depression, and/or physical worries).HeadachesBloating in the abdomen [Read: Varicose Veins: Why Standing & Sitting Are So Bad For You (And What To Do About It)] Diagnosis and Treatment How Is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed? Diagnosing pelvic congestion syndrome is complicated because many women, especially those who have children, show enlarged pelvic blood vessels in a standard ultrasound or MRI. PCS diagnosis is only given to women with enlarged pelvic veins or chronic pelvic pain. A thorough examination of the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and pain duration is necessary to diagnose the problem. To diagnose PCS, the patient must have experienced pain for at least 6 months. These tests will help the doctor identify dilated pelvic veins or vaginal varicose veins and determine if you have pelvic congestion syndrome: Blood testsMRITransvaginal and pelvic ultrasoundCT scanDiagnostic laparoscopyPelvic venography Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treatment Your doctor may recommend additional diagnostic tests depending on the severity and nature of your pain. Once PCS is confirmed, an interventional radiologist can perform an ovarian vein embolization. Ovarian Vein Embolization involves placing a small catheter into the enlarged pelvic veins through a tiny incision using x-ray guidance. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that can relieve pain and other symptoms. [For detailed treatment information, read: Vein Specialist Explains Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treatment] FAQs about Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Can pelvic congestion syndrome cause weight gain? PCS doesn’t usually cause weight gain. Enlargement of the pelvic veins happens when there is retained blood, which may seem like you’ve gained weight. Does pelvic congestion cause bloating? Bloating isn’t a common symptom, but some PCS patients may experience it. This symptom is usually associated with menstruation, such as fibroids or endometriosis. Can pelvic congestion cause bowel problems? Yes, PCS irritates the bowel and results in recurrent abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Does pelvic congestion cause frequent urination? Dilated pelvic veins can cause bladder irritation, leading to an urge to urinate more frequently. Get Expert Advice Talk to your doctor if you suspect you may have PCS. The uncomfortable symptoms of this complex medical condition can adversely affect your quality of life. PCS is treatable through minimally invasive methods with minimal downtime. Just make sure to seek medical attention soon as you get the signs. Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott (VISP) can help you if you have a medical problem such as pelvic congestion syndrome, chronic pain, or varicose veins. We offer top-quality care and minimally invasive treatments for different vascular issues with minimal downtime. Contact us if you’ve got any questions or if you need a consultation. Vascular and Interventional Specialty of Prescott (VISP), can be reached at (928) 771-847.
How To Prevent DVT [5 Tips from A Vein Specialist]
How To Prevent DVT [5 Tips from A Vein Specialist] Did you know that about 350,000-900,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with venous thromboembolism (blood clots) yearly? These clots are associated with a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) happens when a blood clot forms in the deep veins in your body. The condition usually occurs on the legs, thigh, or pelvis. It causes pain and swelling. DVT is a disease that requires serious medical attention. If left untreated, it can develop into a more serious condition such as pulmonary embolism. Individuals with an unhealthy lifestyle, blood clot history, and other health conditions may be at risk. But despite the risk factors and complications associated with deep vein thrombosis, it is still preventable. Dr. Matthew Dicker, vein specialist at VISP, will discuss here the ways to prevent DVT. Continue reading! 5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Consult your doctor if you notice these common signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis: Leg pain that starts in your calf and worsens when bending your footSwelling and tendernessWarm skin in the affected leg and other areasCrampsRedness or discoloration of the affected skin (can also be bluish or whitish) About one-third or one-half of DVT patients experience post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). It is a life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood clot breaks free and travels through your circulatory system. It can block the blood flowing through your lungs and damage your vein valves. Seek immediate medical attention if you see these signs or symptoms of PTS: Sudden shortness of breathChest pain that worsens with a deep breath or coughCoughing up bloodRapid or irregular heartbeat 5 Tips to Prevent Blood Clot and DVT Here are some tips to help you prevent blood clots and DVT, according to Dr. Dicker. 1. Practice a healthy lifestyle Many diseases are preventable if you do the basics of living healthily. This includes: Managing a healthy weight through a low-fat, high-fiber diet with vegetables and fruits.Exercising regularlyDrinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Hydration is significant in reducing blood viscosity.Quitting smoking. If you aren’t a smoker yet, avoid it. Cigarettes affect blood clotting and circulation, which in turn increases the risk of DVT. 2. Take your doctor’s post-surgery advice Patients who undergo a surgical procedure are often at risk of experiencing blood clots. You may also get a DVT when you become less active after your surgery. To prevent this, your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants or blood thinners. Wearing compression stockings or sleeves on your legs is also advisable to maintain good blood circulation. For the post-recovery prevention tips, raise your bed footing instead of using pillows under your legs. Exercise whenever you can and take your prescribed medicines diligently. 3. Take care when traveling long distance If you’re on a long-distance trip and you need to sit still for long hours, there are ways to improve circulation of blood and prevent clots and DVT: Avoid sitting for long periods. Get up, move around, walk and stretch between connecting flights.If you’re traveling by car, you can find a stopover to rest and walk around for a few minutes.If you’re stuck in your seat on the train or airplane, you can move your leg muscles by stretching your legs, flexing your feet, and curling your toes down.If you’re walking long distances, avoid wearing tight clothes. Compression stockings or socks might help you keep optimal blood flow circulation. 4. Ask for medical advice regarding your family’s health history Does your family have any history of blood disorders and other diseases? Ask your doctor to provide medical advice regarding your history. Certain risk factors of DVT are associated with your family’s health history: Prior DVT or PE experienceAny DVT, PE, or blood clotting history among your family members 5. Be diligent with your medications and health checkups Do you have any existing health conditions that may put you at risk for blood clotting and DVT? Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice to prevent deep vein thrombosis and other blood disorders. You are at risk of DVT if you have these health conditions: Prior DVT or PE experienceOld ageObesityPregnancyYou’re taking birth control pills or going through hormone replacement therapyVein injuries caused by fractures, muscle injuries, or surgical procedures in the abdomen and lower parts of the bodyYou’ve been confined to bed for long periodsParalysisChronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung complications, cancer, and inflammatory bowel illnesses Does drinking water help prevent DVT? Yes, dehydration is a common risk factor for DVT. Hydration reduces the viscosity of blood, making it thick and sluggish. Drink lots of fluids, but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as they can make your veins narrower and your blood thicker, which may lead to clotting. Consult A Vein Specialist For Your Blood Clot and DVT Concerns Are you experiencing any symptoms of blood clots, DVT, or pulmonary embolism? Do you have any existing conditions that may put you at risk for these health disorders? Make sure to consult a vein specialist or go to the nearest hospital immediately to conduct the right procedures for your condition. Delaying it may only put you in more danger and lengthier recovery time If you need a medical consultation for deep vein thrombosis or other vascular problems, the clinic of the Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you. We have safe and top-level care treatment for various vascular problems with quick recovery time! Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today.
Back Pain Specialist Explains: Epidural for Back Pain [Pros and Cons]
Back Pain Specialist Explains: Epidural for Back Pain [Pros and Cons] Epidural injections for back pain relief are increasingly becoming more popular. In a 2015 study involving 120 participants with low back pain who received four epidural steroid injections in a year, researchers found that more than 50% experienced pain relief and functional status improvements. As a back pain relief, the injection transports the steroid medication (also known as cortisone) to the inflamed nerve roots within the epidural space (the fat-filled area between the bone and protective sac of the nerves). The anesthetics stop the pain-spasm-pain cycle, while the steroid reduces the irritation in the treatment area. While epidurals can tone down the symptoms of chronic back pain, the underlying causes may still linger in the body. Like similar spinal injections, getting an epidural injection for pain management has benefits and risks. Our resident vascular specialists here at VISP will weigh them for you. Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of epidural steroid injections. How Epidural Steroid Injections as Back Pain Relief Work For people suffering from chronic low back pain, receiving an epidural steroid injection can significantly provide immediate pain relief and improve body functions. Doctors typically recommend this procedure, in conjunction with physical therapy, to alleviate pain from: Herniated discs that damage and press nerves causing painSpinal stenosis or the narrowing of the spinal canalFailed back surgery syndrome (post-operative chronic back or leg pain)Bone spurs due to joint damage associated with osteoarthritisOther injuries to spinal nerves, vertebral column, and surrounding tissues Epidural steroid injections involve injecting steroids and anesthetics into the inflamed nerve roots within the epidural space. The steroid reduces inflammation in the area with back pain while the anesthetics interrupt the pain-spasm cycle. The combination of the two helps with the pain management abilities of other areas of the spine. One to two injections with 1-4 week intervals can give a satisfactory effect to patients with mild low back pain. Meanwhile, those with chronic conditions can get the injections at 3-6 months intervals. The length of pain relief varies, lasting for weeks or years. It’s ideal to receive epidural injections together with exercise programs such as physical therapy to reinforce back muscles and prevent future inflammation. Epidural For Back Pain (Pros and Cons) Now, let’s dive into the benefits and drawbacks of epidural steroid injections. Pros The benefits of epidural steroid injections include: Epidural injections are generally noninvasive and safe especially when performed by an experienced and skilled medical practitionerPatients can return to their normal daily routine the next day after the procedureLow risk with minimal side effectsReceiving epidural injections allow you to postpone or eliminate the need for a surgical procedure, especially if you combine the medication with physical therapyThe injection can be used to relieve back pain, as well as pain in the neck and leg.Epidural injections have a high success rate. The effects can last for several days or years. The injection improves the quality of life of patients suffering from mild to excruciating back pain. It relieves pain and allows the individual to get back to their regular activities the next day. Who’s a candidate? Aside from back pain, an epidural injection also benefits those with neck, arm, and leg pain (sciatica). Specifically, those with the following conditions: Spinal stenosisHerniated discsSpondylolisthesis (nerve root pain due to weakness between the upper and lower facets of a vertebra)Degenerative disc associated with agingSciatica (pain that occurs when there’s a pinched or compressed nerve root in the lower back, which radiates down to the buttock, thigh, legs, or foot) Cons Epidural Steroid Injections may bring a patient these drawbacks: Risky if done by an inexperienced doctor. A misplaced needle can irritate the already inflamed spinal nerves further.The medication can infect the brain, spinal cord, or other areas near the injection site.If not administered properly, an epidural steroid injection can damage the arteries and cause bleeding within the soft tissues, epidural space, and spinal membranes. The condition may lead to a blood clot.Some patients may experience low blood pressure and heart rate.Prolonged treatment might lead to a higher risk of osteoporosis (weak bones).Can be costly considering the short-term pain relief it provides.Facial flushing in rare cases.The steroids may lump together and build up in the blood vessels which may lead to poor blood flow in the spinal cord. The condition is more likely to occur in patients with allergic reactions to steroids or local anesthetic, and those who are over 50 years old.Other possible side effects: bleeding, nerve damage, ulcers, dural puncture, high blood sugar levels, or cataracts. Who Should Avoid Epidural Injections? Like other medical procedures, steroid injections may not be suitable as a chronic back pain relief to people with certain health conditions. Make sure to consult your doctor first if you have any of these issues: InfectionBleeding issuesDiabetesGlaucomaPregnancy FAQs About Getting an Epidural Steroid Injection What are the risks of getting an epidural for back pain? An epidural steroid injection procedure is associated with the following risks: BleedingNerve damageStomach ulcersDural punctureHigh blood sugar levelsCataractsOsteoporosis What are the long-term side effects of epidural steroid injections? Among the risks of epidural steroid injections, these are the long term side effects that you should be careful of: InfectionBleedingEndocrine effectsNeurotoxicityNeurologic injury Do epidurals weaken your back? Epidural steroid injections are anti-inflammatory medical drugs that are usually limited to just a few a year. Steroids can weaken your spinal bones and nearby muscles if not taken according to their recommended dosage. How Long Do Epidural Injections Last For Back Pain? Depending on the patient’s condition, epidurals can relieve pain for several days or years. Epidural injections are done together with physical therapy and/or other exercise programs to reinforce back muscles and prevent future inflammation. What are other nonsurgical alternatives for back pain relief? Although magic pills don’t exist, back pain shouldn’t be a thing that you just have to live with. There are many other minimally invasive choices to help you feel healthier and significantly improve your quality of life. According to Dr. David Lloyd, neuroradiologist with Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center and Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott, vertebroplasty is a highly effective and noninvasive back pain relief alternative to epidurals. Vertebroplasty is commonly recommended for compression fractures of the spine, which are most often found in osteoporosis patients. A cement-like material is injected into the broken bone to stabilize the fracture. Most patients experience pain relief and the renewed ability to go back to their daily activities almost immediately. How To Prevent the Side Effects of Epidural Injections? Generally, epidural steroid injections are safe for pain management. Talk to a doctor to make sure that you don’t have any underlying conditions that may be at risk with steroids and needles. Additionally, consult with a trusted and highly experienced doctor. Find qualified physicians such as physiatrists (PM&R), radiologists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and surgeons. If you need a medical consultation for your body pain problems, VISP – Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you. Our expert radiologists can administer you with epidural steroid injection and prescribe you other pain relief methods according to your condition! Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today.
Treatment for Blocked Arteries in Legs | Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott
When to Get Treatment for Blocked Arteries in Legs [Peripheral Artery Disease] Do you have chronic leg pain? Are your pain relievers not effective enough for your lower backache? Your arteries in the legs might be blocked. Blocked arteries in the legs cause blood to flow less to your legs. This condition is often known as Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). If the leg pain caused by PAD becomes severe, you may have to stop your regular physical activities and undergo treatment from your trusted healthcare provider. But when exactly do you need to seek treatment for blocked arteries in your legs? Let’s discuss that in this article. When To Get Treatment For Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Symptoms of Blocked Arteries In Legs Most peripheral artery disease patients do not have symptoms. Those who experience PAD symptoms might feel heavy, tired, or cramping legs when walking or exercising. The pain usually disappears when the physical activity stops. The symptom is called claudication – leg muscle pain or cramping occurs during physical activities and disappears after a few minutes of rest. The severity of claudication differs from individual to individual. Severe claudication causes debilitating pain and makes it difficult for the patient to walk and participate in other physical activities. Other symptoms of PAD include: Painful cramps in one or both of your hips, thighs, or calf muscles after doing physical activities, such as walking or climbing stairsNumbness or weakness in the legsUnusual cold lower leg or footProlonged soreness on your toes, feet, or legsA change in the color of your legsLoss of hair on feet and legsSlower growth of toenailsNo pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feetErectile dysfunction in menPain or cramping in the arms, especially when knitting, writing, or doing other manual tasks The pain caused by peripheral artery disease may be intense enough to disrupt sleep. Consult a vascular doctor immediately for medication and treatment. Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Peripheral artery disease is often caused by a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque (deposits made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) builds up inside the arteries, limiting blood flow to your organs and other body parts. The condition usually focuses on the heart, but it can affect arteries in other parts of the body, including the limbs. Aside from atherosclerosis, these are the other possible causes of peripheral artery disease: blood vessel inflammationinjury to your limbsunusual anatomy of your ligaments or musclesradiation exposure. The risk factors Given the above causes, people who smoke or have diabetes have a high risk of developing PAD due to blood flow issues. Aside from smoking and diabetes, certain risk factors can also damage the blood vessel wall and cause arterial blockages: High cholesterolHigh blood pressureObesity (a body mass index over 30)Old age, especially those are over 50 years oldA family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease, or heart attacksHigh levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that helps your body make protein and to build and maintain tissue How To Find Out If You Have PAD Here are some tests that your healthcare provider may do to diagnose peripheral artery disease: Physical exam. Your physician will diagnose signs of PAD during a physical exam, such as a weak pulse near a narrowed area in the artery, a whooshing sound in your arteries using a stethoscope, wound signs in areas with restricted blood flow, and high blood pressure. Ankle-brachial index (ABI). A common test is used to compare the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm.Your doctor will use a regular sphygmomanometer to read blood pressure, and special ultrasound imaging techniques to analyze blood pressure and flow and identify artery blockages. You may be asked to do certain exercises like walking and read your bp before and immediately after exercising to capture the severity of the narrowed arteries. Blood tests. The doctor will take a sample of your blood to measure your cholesterol and triglycerides levels and check any signs of diabetes. Angiography. Using an x-ray imaging test, the doctor will be able to view your body’s blood vessels. Angiography is useful when analyzing narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed arteries in various parts of your body, including the brain, heart, abdomen, and limbs. Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease According to the American Heart Association, lifestyle changes, exercise, and claudication medications are enough to slow the progression or even reverse the symptoms of mild PAD. Depending on your health conditions, your doctor can advise you to undergo medical procedures if: You have severe symptoms that limit your ability to live your daily routine.Simpler treatments, such as exercise, lifestyle changes, and medicine, aren’t effective. Here are the treatment options your recommend may advise you to have: Peripheral Angioplasty And Arterial Stent Placement Sometimes called balloon angioplasty with stenting, this procedure is done after performing an angiogram and confirming a blockage. The doctor inserts a balloon-tipped catheter into the blocked blood vessel to push the plaque against the artery wall and widen the opening to increase blood flow. Bare metal or drug-eluting stents may also be inserted to try to prevent restenosis, but stents cannot always be used. Atherectomy Atherectomy is a procedure performed by inserting a catheter within the blood vessel to remove the plaque that is blocking an artery by “shaving” it off from the inside of the arterial wall. Atherectomy can be performed at the same time as a peripheral angiogram. Have Your Peripheral Artery Disease Treated By An Expert Peripheral artery disease can be frustrating, especially when it restricts you to live your life normally. Don’t get discouraged, though. PAD is curable. Consult a doctor if you feel any signs of PAD. Lifestyle modifications and home remedies are often recommended to those with mild PAD diagnosis, while others are encouraged to undergo medical procedures. If you need a medical consultation for your blocked leg arteries, VISP – Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you. We have top-level care treatment and minimally invasive procedures for arterial conditions with quick recovery time! Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today!
How Long Do Epidural Injections Last for Back Pain?
How Long Do Epidural Injections Last for Back Pain? Did you know that back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide? In the United States alone, it is one of the most common reasons for missed work. Some people suffering from back troubles prefer minimally invasive pain relief approaches such as epidural steroid injections (ESI). When administered within the epidural space, the injection can help reduce inflammation around the spinal cord and nerves. Although it is primarily used as a temporary pain reliever, steroid injections in conjunction with therapeutic exercise can prevent patients from undergoing surgical back procedures. But how long does it take for an epidural steroid injection to wear off? And how effective are they? Read on to find out. Epidural Steroid Injections An epidural steroid injection (also known as epidural corticosteroid injections) is a noninvasive procedure to relieve neck, back, and leg pain. The pain is usually due to the inflammation of the spinal nerves. The injection delivers steroid medication (cortisone) to the irritated nerve roots within the epidural space (the fat-filled area between the bone and protective sac of the nerves). The anesthetics stop the pain-spasm-pain cycle, while the steroid reduces the irritation in the treatment area. Candidates For Epidural Steroid Injections Patients with neck, arm, leg, and low back pain are recommended to take epidural steroid injections, especially if they have the following conditions: Spinal Stenosis Spinal stenosis when the spaces between your spinal and nerve root canal become narrow. The narrowing puts pressure on the nerves and causes pain in the back, especially when walking. Spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that occurs when a vertebra slips out of place onto the one below it. Disc herniation A herniated or slipped disc happens when the cushion-like soft disks between your vertebrae slip out of place or become damaged and press on your nerves. Degenerative Disc Disease Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition that occurs when a disc between your spinal vertebrae deteriorates, loses fluid, and shrinks. Weakness, numbness, and pain radiating down the legs are associated with this condition. Sciatica Epidural steroid injections are commonly used for leg and low back pain caused by spinal nerves. This type of pain is known as sciatica which occurs when there’s a pinched or compressed nerve root in the lower back, which radiates down to the buttock, thigh, legs, or foot. Potential Benefits of Epidural Steroid Injection Epidural steroid injections can provide temporary pain relief to patients with acute leg or low back problems. When administered in the lumbar epidural space, a steroid injection may have the following benefits: Reduce nerve pain and inflammation Epidural injections reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals and improve the ability of nerve fibers to manage back, neck, and leg pain. Limit oral medication The steroid injections provide pain relief to minimize the need for oral over-the-counter medications that may pose severe side effects in the long run. Continue or re-engage in physical therapy If you’re undergoing a rehabilitative physical therapy program, your doctor may administer a steroid injection to provide sufficient pain relief. Postpone surgery An injection in the lumbar epidural space can allow you to postpone or eliminate the need for a surgical procedure, especially if you combine the medication with physical therapy. Possible Side Effect of Epidural Injections The common, and usually not serious, side effects of epidural injections include: NauseaHeadacheDizzinessFainting due to anxiety from the procedure (vasovagal attack)Flushing of the face These side effects will eventually subside after a few hours of rest. Cold therapy using ice packs can reduce any post-treatment pain and swelling. The serious risks of the injection are as follows: Infection The medication can infect the brain, spinal cord, or other areas near the injection site. Epidural abscess (pus build-up in the epidural space)Meningitis (inflammation of the fluid and meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord)Osteomyelitis or discitis (disc infection)Soft tissue abscess (bacteria build-up within the soft tissues at the site of injection) Bleeding If not administered properly, an epidural injection can damage the arteries and cause bleeding within the soft tissues, epidural space, and spinal membranes. Your doctor must be cautious of a possible blood clot. Dural puncture Improper administration of the epidural injection can cause dural puncture or the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through the dural tear into the epidural space. Cardiovascular system (heart) complications Epidural steroid injections can cause low blood pressure and heart rate for some patients. Local anesthetic risks Damages in the central nervous system or cardiovascular system can happen if the injection containing local anesthetic enters a blood vessel. Nerve damage The injection can damage neighboring nerves and cause loss of sensation, seizure, and cauda equina syndrome. Risks associated with particulate steroids Steroids may lump together, build up in the blood vessels, and reduce blood flow in the spinal cord. The risks are more likely to occur to patients with allergic reactions to steroids or local anesthetic, and those who are over 50 years old. To maximize the pain relief benefits of epidural steroid injection and avoid complications, make sure to consult only with your trusted radiology, orthopedic, anesthetic, or neurology specialists and be honest with your current health conditions. More FAQs About Epidural Steroid Injection How often can you get epidural injections for back pain? Patients with mild low back pain can get one to two injections, with 1-4-week intervals to achieve the full effect. Those with chronic back pain can receive injections at 3-6 months intervals. It isn’t recommended to receive more than 3 shots in the same spot within 12 months. It’s best to consult your doctor if your symptoms are unchanged after receiving steroid injections. Why is the pain worse after taking epidural steroid injections? There may be a slight increase in pain or weakness as the numbing medicine wears off before the steroid starts to take effect. How long do epidural injections last for back pain? Most patients with back conditions can resume full physical activity the next day after getting epidural steroid injections. Depending on the patient’s condition, this treatment option can relieve pain for several days or years. Epidural injections are done together with physical therapy and/or other exercise programs to reinforce back muscles and prevent future inflammation. Who Can Administer Epidural Injections? If you’re suffering from back problems, epidural injections can be the best choice for you. To minimize the risk of complications, consult only with the right doctor. Remember that only qualified physicians such as physiatrists (PM&R), radiologists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and surgeons can administer the injection. If you need a medical consultation for your body pain problems, VISP – Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you. Our expert radiologists can administer you with epidural steroid injection and prescribe you other pain relief methods according to your condition! Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today.
5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis
5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis Do you feel any pain and swelling in your lower leg, thigh, or pelvis? Do you have any existing conditions that may cause blood clots? If yes, you have to be careful of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep veins in your body. The condition usually occurs on the legs, thigh, or pelvis, and causes pain and swelling. The blood clot forms if you don’t move for a long time, such as when you’re on bed rest or sitting for long periods. Deep vein thrombosis needs serious medical attention. Blood clots in leg veins can break loose, pass through your bloodstream, stay in your lungs, and block proper blood flow (also known as pulmonary embolism). Read on to find more about the signs of deep vein thrombosis and how you can treat it. 5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) People who are over 60, smoking, overweight, or tend to sit or lie in the bed for long periods, should be extra careful of getting a deep vein thrombosis. Seek medical attention from experts immediately if you see these common signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis: Leg pain that starts in your calf and worsens when bending your footSwelling and tendernessSkin warmness in the affected leg and other areasCrampsRedness or discoloration of the affected skin (can also be bluish or whitish) The Warning Signs of DVT Aside from the abovementioned symptoms of DVT, you have to be extra careful if you also get these warning signs: Sudden coughing (with blood)Sharp, painful, or tight chestPainful shoulder, back, jaw, or armShortness of breath, which may be difficult and painfulLightheadedness, dizziness, or worse, faintingFast heartbeatRapid pulse Call 911 or proceed to an emergency room right away. These are warning symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE), one of the life-threatening complications of DVT. Pulmonary embolism occurs when your blood clot breaks free, travels to your lungs, and blocks your blood flow. Health problems like pulmonary embolism can be deadly and need emergency medical attention. DVT Complications Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) happens to about one-third or one-half of DVT patients. This long-term complication occurs when the blood clot damages the valves in the vein. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the most severe complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and is associated with PTS. VTE is the combination of pulmonary embolism (PE) and DVT. This happens when the blood clots break off and pose damages to your lungs and blood flow. A small blood clot is still manageable with urgent and appropriate treatment. VTE patients with this condition can still recover. However, large blood clots can be fatal. Your blood may not reach your lungs, hence the life-threatening damage and the PTS. In addition to the common symptoms of DVT, severe PTS patients can experience scaling or ulcers, and worse, getting disabled. Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Certain risk factors can increase your chances of suffering from deep venous thrombosis (DVT), including: Vein Injury Vein injuries caused by fractures, muscle injuries, or surgical procedures in the abdomen and lower parts of the body are among the risk factors for DVT. Poor Blood Circulation Poor blood circulation slows down the flow of blood in the body and increases your risk of DVT. The condition occurs when: You’ve been confined to bed for long periodsYou have limited lower body movement, orYou are suffering from paralysis Increased Estrogen Production Increase your estrogen production may also increase your risk of developing DVT in your legs. If you’re under birth control pills, hormone therapy, or if you’re pregnant, always keep in touch with your doctor regarding your health condition. Chronic Medical Conditions Heart disease, lung complications, cancer, and inflammatory bowel illnesses can also increase your chances of having blood clots in your leg veins and the risk of getting DVT. Other Health Conditions You can be exposed to certain DVT symptoms if you have these health conditions: Prior DVT or PE experienceDVT, PE, or blood clotting family historyOld ageWeight problems, including obesityCentral Venous Catheter Smoking and Unhealthy Lifestyle Similar to other diseases, people with unhealthy lifestyles and smoking habits are prone to DVT. Always do a regular health check-up to avoid unwanted complications. Your doctor will provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment whenever appropriate. DVT Prevention Just like other medical concerns, you can still prevent DVT by doing the following: Move around carefully after your bed confinement due to surgery, sickness, or injury.For patients with a family history of DVT, PE, and blood clotting, discuss your health condition with your healthcare provider to monitor any symptoms. Your doctor may recommend you the following:Usage of graduated compression stockings (medical compression stockings) as part of your compression therapyAnticoagulant (blood-thinning medications)Exercise regularly and avoid sitting for long periodsMaintain a healthy weight and lifestyleAvoid Smoking Treatment of DVT After you’ve been diagnosed with DVT, your doctor will advise you to undergo any of these treatments: Anticoagulant (blood-thinner) medicinesVena cava filter in your tummy to trap and stop the blood clot from traveling to your heart and lungs (in case the anticoagulants don’t work)Surgery for severe cases Schedule A DVT Consultation Now! Do you have any DVT symptoms in your legs or other parts of the body? Don’t ignore them! Even if the signs are still mild or moderate, ignoring them will only make it worse. DVT is a serious condition. Worst case scenario could be fatal. However, taking appropriate measures can help you prevent or recover from it. Consult your doctor or go to the nearest hospital immediately to conduct the right treatment procedures for your condition. Don’t delay seeking medical attention to avoid more danger and lengthier recovery time. If you need a medical consultation for deep vein thrombosis or other vascular problems, VISP – Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you. We have safe and top-level care treatment for various vascular problems with quick recovery time! Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today. Have you had a blood clot or DTS before? Share your experience in the comments section below!