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:
What Are the Symptoms of a Blocked Artery in Your Leg?
What Are the Symptoms of a Blocked Artery in Your Leg? If you have a history of diabetes or any heart disease and have been suffering from chronic leg pain, you should be more cautious of a disease called Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a condition that prevents the blood from flowing smoothly in the legs due to blocked arteries Peripheral Artery Disease (also known as peripheral arterial disease or PAD) is a common circulatory condition in which your legs have less blood flow to meet your body’s demands. Blood clots can also block blood flow and cause PAD. If left untreated, the condition can cause severe leg pain (claudication), difficulty walking or standing, and may even lead to limb loss. It is important to know your symptoms and when you should see a doctor. Keep reading below to know more about the symptoms of arterial blockages (peripheral artery disease). What is peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the legs? Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a type of peripheral vascular disease that refers to the narrowing of or blocking of arteries that results in poor blood circulation in your legs and arms. The blood vessels called arteries carry oxygenated blood filled with nutrients from all parts of the body to the heart. The arteries that supply blood to the legs and arms are where PAD is found. Smooth linings are important for healthy arteries. They prevent blood clotting and promote steady blood flow. When plaque builds up inside the walls of the arteries it impedes proper blood circulation. Plaque is composed of excess fat, cholesterol, and other substances that circulate through the bloodstream. The lump of substances causes the blood not to nourish tissues and organs, which may lead to tissue damage and worse, death. Each person is different and the rate at which PAD develops will depend on several factors, such as where plaque forms and the condition of your health. It is most common in the legs but it could also be elsewhere on your body, including your stomach, stomach, kidneys, and arms. [Read: What Is the Difference Between Pad and Pvd?] What Are the Symptoms of a Blocked Artery in Your Leg? How do you know if your arteries are blocking? Patients with peripheral vascular diseases like PAD do not usually have symptoms. Otherwise, they might experience claudication – the feeling of heaviness, fatigue, or cramping of legs when walking or exercising. The pain usually subsides when the physical activity stops. The severity of claudication differs from individual to individual. Severe cases cause debilitating pain that makes it difficult to walk or participate in any other activities. Other symptoms of peripheral arterial disease include: Numbness and tingling in the feet and lower legsColdness in the feet and lower legs Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs, or calf muscles after doing physical activities, such as walking or climbing stairsProlonged soreness on your feet, legs, and toes that don’t heal or are very slow to healDiscoloration of legsHair loss on the legs and feetSlower growth of toenailsNo pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feetErectile dysfunction in menPain or cramping in the arms, particularly when knitting, writing, or performing other manual tasks Peripheral artery disease can cause severe pain that may disrupt your sleep. For medication and treatment, consult a vein specialist immediately. Causes of Peripheral Arterial Disease A condition known as atherosclerosis, which is a buildup in plaque (deposits of fat, cholesterol, and calcium) in the arteries, is commonly responsible for peripheral artery disease. This condition can cause narrowing of your arteries, which may reduce blood flow to your legs, and sometimes your arms. Although the condition is most common in the heart, it can also affect other arteries, such as the limbs. These are other possible causes for peripheral artery disease, apart from atherosclerosis: Blood vessel inflammationInjury to your limbsUnusual anatomy of your muscles or ligamentsRadiation exposure PAD risk factors include: You have a 1 in 3 chance of developing PAD if you have a medical history of heart disease, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Smoking also raises the risk of developing PAD by 4x. Studies have shown that smoking even half a pack of cigarettes a day can increase your risk of developing PAD by between 30-50 percent. Smoking can make PAD worse. In fact, one in two PAD patients who smoke is likely to experience a stroke or heart attack. Other risk factors for peripheral artery disease include: Age of over 50DiabetesHigh blood pressureHigh cholesterol levelObesityHistory of kidney diseaseFamily history of stroke, peripheral artery disease, or heart diseaseHigh homocysteine level, an amino acid that aids in the creation of protein and building and maintaining tissue. These factors can damage the artery walls, which could lead to plaque buildup in the blood vessels. Do not dismiss leg and foot pain, numbness, or any other symptoms as normal with aging. Make an appointment with your doctor. [Read: When to Get Treatment for Blocked Arteries in Legs] Conditions associated with PAD Patients with PAD may develop serious health issues if they are not treated. Heart attackStrokeTransient ischemic attack (TIA)Renal artery disease or stenosisAmputationCoronary artery diseaseCritical limb ischemia How To Determine If You Have A PAD These are some tests your healthcare provider might perform to diagnose peripheral arterial disease. Physical exam. Your doctor will diagnose PAD signs such as high blood pressure, weak pulse, narrowed arteries, or a whooshing sound.Ankle-brachial Index (ABI). A test using a regular blood pressure sphygmomanometer and special ultrasound imaging technique to analyze and compare the blood pressure in the ankle and arm, and identify any blocked or narrowed artery.Blood tests. The doctor will draw a sample of your blood to check for diabetes signs and measure cholesterol and triglycerides levels.Angiography. The doctor will view the blood vessels in your body using an x-ray imaging test to analyze narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed blood vessels in different parts of the body, such as the brain, heart, and limbs. What can doctors do to treat PAD? Your doctor may recommend some simple steps to relieve symptoms, manage your risk factors, and prevent your PAD from getting worse. These are: Lower your cholesterol and blood pressureControl blood sugar level if you have diabetesPractice a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and healthy dietMaintain a healthy weightAvoid or stop smoking There are also medical treatments that they might require to prevent blood clots and restore blood flow, such as: Peripheral Angioplasty and Arterial Stent PlacementAtherectomyVascular medicine to relieve claudication symptoms, increase blood flow, or prevent blood clots.Vascular surgery in severe cases [Read: How Do You Cure Aching Legs? Answers From 5 Doctors] When should you see a doctor? If you’re considered a high-risk person for peripheral artery disease, or if you’re experiencing the symptoms already, it’s best to visit a vascular doctor immediately. Even if your symptoms aren’t indicative of peripheral artery disease you still need to be tested if: You’re above 65 years oldIf you are over 50 years old and have a history of diabetes or smoking,If you are under 50 years old and have diabetes or other risk factors for peripheral artery disease, such as obesity, high cholesterol level, and high blood pressure If you need a medical consultation for peripheral artery disease and other vascular diseases, VISP – Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you. Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today!
How To Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis? Here’s A Definitive Guide
How To Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis? Here’s A Definitive Guide If you’re experiencing any pain, swelling, redness, or discoloration in your legs, you may be prone to blood clots, a condition associated with a vein disease called Deep Vein Thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) happens when blood clots form in deep veins. If you are not moving for a prolonged period (e.g., when you’re on bed rest or sitting for a long duration), clots in the blood might form, and you may experience pain and swelling. This condition commonly occurs in the legs, thighs, and pelvis. People with a poor diet, an inactive lifestyle, a history of blood clots, and other health issues may be at high risk. DVT requires immediate medical attention. Clots that form in the legs can travel through your bloodstream, block blood flow, and even become pulmonary embolisms. Don’t worry, DVT is treatable and complications are preventable. Keep reading to learn more about this disease and how to cure it. Causes of Blood Clot Many factors can restrict blood flow and increase the chance of developing a blood clot. These include: Old ageFamily or personal history of blood clotting disorders, DVT, or pulmonary embolismCancerA leg vein disease, such as varicose veinsSmokingHormone therapy or birth control pillsPregnancyBeing overweight or obeseRecent major surgeryHaving a Central Venous Catheter (CVC) Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) If you see these common symptoms and signs of deep vein thrombosis, consult your doctor immediately: Cramping pain, tenderness, and swelling of one or both legsWarm skin around the affected area, including the legs and other areasSkin redness or discoloration of the affected leg area [Read more about the risks of aching legs] Complications One-third to one-half of DVT victims experience chronic venous insufficiency, also known as post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). PTS is a potentially life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood clot travels through your circulatory system. When clots travel through your vein, it damages the vein valves. Clots can also reach your lungs and trigger pulmonary embolism. If you notice these symptoms or signs of PTS, call 911 or go to an emergency department for immediate medical attention. Sudden breathlessnessDeep breaths or coughsChest pain.Rapid or irregular heartbeat and pulseSudden, bloody coughTight, tight, or sharp chestPainful arm, back, jaw, or shoulderDizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting [To know more about the symptoms, complications, and other risk factors of developing blood clots and DVT, read: 5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis] How To Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis Despite the dangers of DVT, there is still hope with the help of proper medications, outpatient treatments, and surgical procedures available. Keep reading for the treatment guide. DVT Diagnosis If your doctor suspects DVT, he or she will order diagnostic tests such as: Ultrasound to take a picture of your veins, arteries, and blood flow.Venography wherein a dye or contrast solution is injected into a vein. The solution is mixed with blood and flows through the veins. An X-ray of the area in which DVT may be suspected is taken to determine any blockages in the veins. This procedure requires radiation, so it is not commonly used unless the ultrasound results are not conclusive.D-dimer blood test to detect the presence of D-dimer, a substance released when a blood clot breaks apart. High levels of this substance mean you are at risk for DVT and clotting. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for detailed cross-sectional images that show the structure of the body, including blood vessels and veins. Doctors may use MRI to locate blood clots within the pelvis and thigh area. [Related: When To Get Treatment For Blocked Arteries In Legs?] DVT Treatment Your doctor will recommend that you undergo these treatments after you have been diagnosed with DVT: Anticoagulant (blood thinners) Anticoagulation medication, also known as a blood thinner, may be used to treat DVT. These thinners help prevent future blood clots and help dissolve existing ones. Blood-thinning medications can cause bleeding problems if the dosage is too high. Use them with caution, at home or in the hospital. Your doctor may ask for regular blood tests to determine the time it takes for your blood to clot. The dosage of anticoagulants should be sufficient to prevent blood clots, but not excessively. Compression stockings Your doctor may advise you to wear compression stockings if you are at high risk of DVT, which can reduce swelling and decrease your chances of developing more clots. Compression stockings offer tight compression that starts at the lower leg and gradually loosens as it covers the knee. The upward pressure reduces swelling and discomfort in the legs. If taking blood thinners and wearing stockings don’t work to stop blood clots, or if the clotting worsens, the doctor may recommend outpatient procedures. Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Placement If you are unable to take blood thinners, you might need a filter placed inside your large abdominal vein known as the inferior vena cava (IVC), the large vein that supplies blood to the heart. The procedure involves inserting a metal device into the IVC. Any clots that become dislodged from the IVC will be caught and prevented from reaching the heart or lungs. This treatment prevents pulmonary embolism. The use of filters is limited to a short time until the risk is reduced, and blood thinners become available. Thrombolytic medications Your doctor may prescribe a thrombolytic drug, such as Anistreplase to treat DVT if blood thinners fail or you have severe symptoms. This medication may be beneficial for people with DVT in the upper extremities. Thrombolytic medications work by breaking down clots. These medications dissolve blood clots by injecting them through a catheter into the blood. They are only used when there is a high risk of pulmonary embolism. DVT surgery Surgical treatment for DVT is done for patients with severe cases. This procedure is usually only recommended for large blood clots or those that cause serious problems like tissue damage. The goal is to locate and remove the blood clot, then repair the affected blood vessel. The surgeon may use an inflatable balloon to keep the veins open while they remove the blockage. The balloon will then be removed from the area where the clot was found. Surgery comes with risks, including infection and excessive bleeding. Many doctors would not recommend or perform surgery unless the situation is dangerous for the patient. Are Blood Clots and DVT preventable? Just like other medical concerns, you can still prevent DVT by doing the following: Maintain a healthy weight and practice a good lifestyle – have a balanced diet and exercise regularlyAvoid smokingDrink alcohol moderatelyAlways stay hydrated to maintain a good blood flowMove around carefully after your bed confinement due to surgery, sickness, or injury.If you recently went under surgery, make sure to follow your doctor’s post-surgery adviceFor patients with a family history of DVT, PE, and blood clotting, discuss your health condition with your healthcare provider to monitor any symptoms. Avoid sitting for long periods. If you’re stuck in a seat, stretch your legs, flex your feet, and curl your toes down from time to time. [Read our complete guide on how to prevent DVT] Noninvasive DVT Treatments From Expert Vein Specialists Think you’re at risk of blood clotting or DVT? Don’t ignore the signs – even if they are still mild or moderate! DVT is a serious condition. Worst case scenario could be fatal. However, taking appropriate measures can help you prevent or recover from it. Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott (VISP) offers noninvasive and nonsurgical DVT treatments. We also 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.
Can Benign Tumors Become Cancerous? Interventional Radiologist Explains
Can Benign Tumors Become Cancerous? Interventional Radiologist Explains It’s only natural to be scared if you’re diagnosed with a tumor. After all, there’s no such thing as a “good tumor”. But it is still possible to receive some good news after that, such as your doctor confirming that the tumor is benign, not cancerous, and not life-threatening. That’s a great relief. But if you’re still concerned about benign tumors being cancerous and other questions boggling your mind, you’ve come to the right page. Can a benign tumor become cancerous? Do you need surgery to remove it? Keep reading to find out the answer straight from Dr. Matthew Dicker, an Interventional Radiologist of Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott! How Tumors Grow According to the definition of the National Cancer Institute, a tumor is an abnormal growth of tissues when cells don’t divide or die accordingly. Dr. Matthew Dicker explains that tumors grow due to a defect in the DNA of cells, especially genes that control cells’ growth. “Some damaged genes can stop a programmed cell death to make way for healthier, new cells. Tumors grow rapidly if these cells learn how to prevent themselves from dying.” The cells’ death is just as crucial as their development. Tumors are likely to grow if the balance between cell growth and death disrupts. Not all tumors are made of cancerous cells. Some mutations can be slow and benign, while others can be malignant (cancerous), invade nearby tissue, and destroy them. Benign tumors are usually noninvasive, as per Dr. Dicker. But in unfortunate cases, they can become cancerous. Continue reading to learn more about these benign growths. [Related: What Causes Tumors?] What Is a Benign Tumor? A benign tumor is a mass made up of abnormal cells that can’t spread to other areas of the body or invade nearby normal tissue, unlike malignant tumors. The growth of benign tumors could be linked to: Exposure to environmental toxins, such as radiationGeneticsDietStressLocal trauma or injuryInflammation or infection Dr. Matthew Dicker says that initial imaging, lab tests, and biopsy are needed to detect a tumor and determine whether it is benign or malignant. Unlike malignant tumors, most benign tumors can be surgically removed easily. There are also cases when they don’t need to be removed at all. “Most benign tumors aren’t life-threatening. They can be left alone as they are unlikely to cause damage to any other areas of your body. In fact, many individuals carry benign tumors that don’t require treatment, such as moles, throughout their lives.” Common Types of Benign Tumors Benign Soft Tissue Tumors These are some types of noncancerous soft tissue tumors that can be found in various parts of the body, according to the American Cancer Society: Fibromas: noncancerous abnormal growths of fibrous tissue or connective tissue of any organGranular cell tumors: usually detected in adults that often start in the tongue but can be found almost anywhere in the bodyHemangiomas: benign tumors of blood vesselsHibernomas: benign growths of fat tissueLipomas: noncancerous tumors that grow from fat cellsLeiomyomas: benign tumors of smooth muscle that can be found anywhere in the body but are very common in the walls of the uterus where they are known as fibroidsLipoblastomas: benign fat tissue tumors that are most often seen in childrenLymphangiomas: noncancerous tumors of lymph vesselsNeurofibromas: tumors of nerve tissue that are usually benign. Neuromas: tumors of nerves that can be benign but painfulPEComas: a family of tumors made up of abnormal cells called perivascular epithelial cells. Although most of these are benign, some rare PEComas are malignant tumors (cancer). Rhabdomyomas: benign growths of skeletal and heart muscleTenosynovial giant cell tumors (also called nodular tenosynovitis): benign tumors of joint tissue Benign Skin Tumors Nevi tumor Nevi tumors are moles that grow anywhere on the body. They can vary in size, shape, and color. If a mole has grown or changed in color, size, or spread to other areas of the body, ask your doctor to provide medical advice. This could indicate skin cancer and may need to be removed. Other Types of Noncancerous Skin Tumors Seborrheic keratosesDermatofibromasDermoid cystFrecklesKeloids Benign Bone Tumors Osteochondromas The most common benign tumor for young children and adults is the osteochondromas. This occurs when there is an excess of bone and cartilage. Common symptoms include pain in the joints or muscles, shortened limbs, and hard masses. Osteochondromas are usually not painful and don’t require treatment. An X-ray can also show the tumor’s location and help determine if medication or surgery may be necessary. Other Types of Noncancerous Bone Tumors Bone-forming (osteoid osteoma, osteoblastoma, fibrous dysplasia, enostosis)Cartilage-forming (osteochondroma, enchondroma)Idiopathic (giant cell tumor, aneurysmal bone cyst, simple bone cyst) Diagnosis of Benign Tumors Early diagnosis of benign tumors is crucial so your doctor can help you plan the treatment accordingly. According to Dr. Dicker, imaging tests like X-ray, ultrasound, and CT scans are used to screen patients suspected of tumors. If a tumor is detected, doctors will then perform the next diagnostic test, which may include: Laboratory tests to determine the levels of hormones in blood and urine.Biopsy to determine whether the growth is a benign or malignant tumor. [Learn more about tumor diagnosis and treatment] Treatment for Benign Tumors Many benign tumors don’t require treatment. Once detected, your doctor may observe you from time to time to ensure that the tumors aren’t causing any problems. Treatments like medication, radiation therapy, or surgery may be necessary if symptoms become severe. Surgical procedures are typically done to remove the growths and prevent them from damaging surrounding tissues and becoming malignant. How to Live and Cope With Benign Tumors A benign tumor can be left untreated and lived with indefinitely as long as it doesn’t cause you pain, discomfort, or complications. Your doctor will keep an eye on the tumor and monitor for any changes. You’ll be asked to come in for routine exams or imaging scans if your tumor hasn’t grown. When Should You See Your Doctor? It is a good idea for you to see your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms or growths that might indicate cancer. This applies to skin lesions and unusual-looking moles. “Early detection is key for preventing the growth of cancerous cells of some benign tumors,” Dr. Dicker emphasized. VISP’s interventional radiologists are highly skilled in performing minimally invasive procedures for diagnosing and treating tumors. Call us now to make an appointment!
What Causes Tumors? [Guide to Benign and Malignant Tumors]
What Causes Tumors? [Guide to Benign and Malignant Tumors] Are you feeling fatigued lately? Are you experiencing too much sweating at night? Or are there any unusual lumps or moles in your body that suddenly showed up? It’s easy to ignore these symptoms. However, if they happen more frequently and start to hinder your normal daily routine, it might be a sign that there is tumor growth. Each cell in our bodies goes through a cycle. They can reproduce and replenish themselves when they become deficient or damaged, often without any problems. However, things don’t always go as planned. These old or damaged cells can divide rapidly, passing abnormal copies of their DNA instead of eliminating the old cells. This eventually forms a tumor or mass that can be benign or malignant. Keep reading to learn more about tumors, their causes, and the treatment options you need to know! What is a Tumor? The National Cancer Institute defines a tumor as an abnormal growth of mass of tissue that results when cells divide abnormally or do not die when they should. So, why do tumors occur? Most normal cells grow, divide, and replace each other in healthy bodies. As new cells form, the old cells will die. However, new cells can also form from cancer cells even if the body doesn’t require them. Tumors develop if the balance between cell growth and death is disrupted. Not all tumors are cancerous. Some are benign, while others can be malignant and spread throughout the body. Tumors can develop in bones, organs, and joints. Sometimes they can only be detected with imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan, PET scan, and endoscopy. A biopsy is often needed to examine the tumor under a microscope. What Causes Tumors? Most cancerous tumors are caused by DNA mutations within your cells. Your DNA is a collection of genes that controls how cells function, grow and divide. Disruption of cell growth happens if the DNA changes. This disconnection can lead to cancerous cells. Many factors can cause your genes to become mutated, resulting in benign or malignant tumor growth: Benzene and other toxic chemicalsDrinking too much alcoholEnvironmental toxins, such as poisonous mushrooms or a type that can grow on peanuts (aflatoxins), are two examples of environmental toxins.Excessive sunlight exposureGenetic problemsObesityRadiation exposureVirusesAgeHormonesSmokingimmune disorder Different Types of Tumors Benign tumors A benign tumor is often not dangerous or cancerous. They are unlikely to cause any damage to other parts of your body, even if they contain abnormal cells. Non-cancerous abnormal cells are organized. When a pathologist examines a biopsy taken from the tissue, they look like normal, well-arranged, healthy cells. The benign tumors are also not as aggressive as malignant tumors. They don’t invade nearby tissue and other parts of the body. However, benign growths can cause pain and other problems if it presses against nerves or blood vessels, or if it triggers the overproduction of hormones. Precancerous tumors develop when the body changes (hyperplasia and dysplasia). It may be necessary to remove benign tumors to confirm they aren’t cancerous and to relieve symptoms. Most benign tumors do not grow back. The following are some types of benign tumors. Adenomas – Adenomas are found in the epithelial tissue, a thin layer that covers organs and glands. These benign tumors do not start as cancer unless they change and become adenocarcinomas. Fibromas – Fibromas can develop in connective tissue or fibrous tissue. They can also grow in other internal organs. They can develop into cancerous fibrosarcomas in rare cases. Hemangiomas – Hemangiomas form when blood vessels become too large. A common example is a birthmark. Although these growths can often disappear on their own, treatments are highly advised if they are affecting eating, hearing, vision, or other functions. Lipomas – Lipomas are benign soft tissue tumors made up of fat cells. They are usually movable, soft, and slow-growing tumors that can be found in the neck, back, neck, or shoulders. Enchondroma – These benign bone tumors are found inside the bone marrow space and usually start in the cartilage. Malignant tumors Malignant tumors are cancerous. This means that their cells have undergone several abnormal DNA changes. They invade neighboring cells and multiply and divide at an alarming pace. They can copy themselves and spread their cancerous genes to other parts of the body. It could be fatal if the cancer cells continue to grow and spread. The body’s immune system can repair and remove abnormal cells (a process called apoptosis), but cancerous cells can pass unnoticed and take over the entire system. A malignant tumor can spread to nearby tissues and pass through the bloodstream. The blood can transport some cancerous cells from the primary tumor to other locations. This is known as metastatic tumors or secondary cancer. Although the tumor’s location is different from its origin, secondary or metastatic cancer is composed of cancer cells from the original site. For instance, lung cancer cells can spread to the liver if not detected nor treated immediately. Different types of malignant tumors can arise in different types of cells. Examples include: Carcinoma – These tumors are made up of epithelial cells that are found in the skin and tissues that cover the organs. Carcinomas can be found in the breast, stomach, prostate, and pancreas. Sarcoma – These tumors originate from connective tissue such as cartilage and bones. They originate in the cells outside the bone marrow. Most soft tissue sarcoma tumors are considered malignant. Leukemia – Leukemias affect blood tissues like bone marrow. The bone marrow produces large numbers of abnormal cells, which then enter the bloodstream. Lymphoma – Lymphomas are caused by the immune system. Cancer of the central nervous system – Cancer found in the spinal cord and brain tissues. Germ cell tumors – These tumors form in the cells that make sperm or eggs. These tumors are most common in the testicles or ovaries, but they can also be found in the brain, abdomen, or chest. How can tumors be detected? Early diagnosis is crucial for benign tumors. This will allow you to determine its cause and plan for the necessary operations. Tumors can be detected during a screening test such as: X-rayUltrasoundComputed Tomography scans (CT scans) After the initial imaging, doctors will perform the next diagnostic tests. Lab tests are used to measure the levels of hormones and chemicals in urine and blood. If the fluids are high or low, a pathologist might diagnose cancer.Diagnostic imaging allows doctors to access the body to identify cancerous cells. The most common imaging procedures include MRI, CT, ultrasound, PET scan, X-ray, and CT scan. If a tumor is found, the radiologists will assess the images and determine whether it is cancerous or benign.A biopsy is performed to examine the tumor and determine if it is cancerous. The test involves the collection of a sample of tumor tissue that can then be examined under the microscope by pathologists. How do doctors treat tumors? The following treatment options may be used alone or in combination to treat tumors: Surgery. Benign tumors are often surgically removed.Chemotherapy. These drugs are administered to take down cancer cells and/or to stop their growth and spread. It affects the entire body.Chemoembolization. The procedure targets cancer at its source, maximizing the effectiveness of the drugs while minimizing harm to healthy cells and reducing side effects for the patient.Radiation Therapy. Targeted beams of radiation can kill cancer cells. New technology allows pinpoint accuracy, with the goal of minimizing radiation exposure to healthy surrounding cells.Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA). To reach the tumor, specialists place a needle under the skin. Radiofrequency energy is used to heat and scar tissue.Cryoablation. Similar to RFA, it is minimally invasive and uses a needle to remove the tumor. It uses radiofrequency heat instead of extremely cold gas.Tumor Ablation. An image-guided procedure in which tumors are removed using extreme temperatures.Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy drugs either help boost the immune system so that it has more strength to fight cancer cells; or they can target and destroy certain proteins, or receptors, on cancer cells to prevent them from outmaneuvering the immune system. Other FAQs About Tumors What causes brain tumors? The cause of brain tumor is not always known but there are some risk factors that you need to watch out for: Old age.Chemical exposures (solvents, pesticides, and oil products).Family history (Research shows that abnormal gene changes cause some rare inherited cancer syndromes that increase the risk of developing brain and spinal cord tumors).Exposition to viruses, infections, and allergens.Radiation exposure.Ionizing radiation.Seizures and head injury.N-nitroso compounds. Can stress cause tumors? According to the National Cancer Institute, stress can lead to a variety of health issues, but there is no evidence it can cause cancer. There could be many ways that psychological stress and cancer may appear to have apparent links. People who are under stress might develop unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating, which are among the causes of tumor growth. Seek Medical Attention Immediately Consult your doctor if you notice any unusual growths, moles, skin rashes, and other symptoms in your body. Self-diagnosing tumors will not do you any good. Early diagnosis can help you receive the right treatment for your condition. Our vascular specialists and interventional radiologists here at VISP are more than capable of performing minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat tumors effectively. The procedures we use are in line with regulations provided by the National Cancer Institute. Contact us today to book an appointment!
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.